Book Review: Beijing Bastard

Beijing Bastard

By Val Wang


In her drifter memoir of leaving home in order to find it, Chinese American author Val Wang struggles between head and heart as she tries to make a living—and a life—in Beijing, burdened by the expectations of her forebears yet buoyed by the spirit of youth. In the process, she shows us a China full of contradictions: at once glamorous and grungy, ancient and modern, ambitious and loafing.

Books Can Put Incarcerated Youth on a Productive Path

​The project's goal is to use books to improve literacy and reading skills, and thus further delinquent youth's educations. The post Books Can Put Incarcerated Youth on a Productive Path appeared first on Rivard Report.

Border Agency Set to Jumpstart Trump’s Wall in a Texas Wildlife Refuge

by Kiah Collier, Texas Tribune, and T. Christian Miller, ProPublica,
This story was co-published with the Texas Tribune. U.S. Customs and Border Protection will begin constructing the first segment of President Trump's border wall in November through a national wildlife refuge, using money it's already received from Congress. That's what a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service official recently told a nonprofit group that raises money to support two national wildlife refuges in South Texas, according to the group's vice president. “I was alarmed,” said Jim Chapman of Friends of the Wildlife Corridor. “It was not good news.”

For the past six months, CBP has been quietly preparing a site to build a nearly 3-mile border barrier through the Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge, according to The Texas Observer.

Border Business Could Cost the Texas Economy

Along the U.S.-Mexico border, a wall may soon be going up and companies are building liquefied natural gas export terminals in the Port of Brownsville. The post Border Business Could Cost the Texas Economy appeared first on Rivard Report.

Border funding bill passes U.S. House; Texans vote along party lines

WASHINGTON — The U.S. House on Thursday passed about $800 billion in federal spending, including $1.6 billion worth of funding that will go toward constructing a border wall. While there is almost no chance this legislation will become law, Republican lawmakers can head back to their home districts pointing to the wall funding as a legislative step toward a tenet of the Trump presidential campaign. “I am proud to say that the defense appropriations bill we advanced today begins the process of putting our country's security on the right path, and I urge the Senate to take it up and pass it quickly," said U.S. Rep. Kay Granger, R-Fort Worth, who was a key mover of the bill. "I am proud of the hard work of the Appropriations Committee as well as all of the Members who worked to make this bill better and better with their thoughts and ideas that they brought to the Rules Committee," concurred U.S. Rep. Pete Sessions, R-Dallas, who runs the consequential U.S. House Rules Committee, in a Thursday statement. The border wall measure was one of several spending bills passed this week, and combined, they will increase funding at the Department of Defense, care for veterans and on security for lawmakers in the wake of the June shooting at a Congressional baseball practice that left House Majority Whip Steve Scalise seriously wounded.

Border Patrol, Adding 5,000 Agents, Improves Training

As the Border Patrol gears up to add 5,000 new agents in response to an executive order by President Trump, the agency is revamping its training, the New York Times reports. The new curriculum emphasizes teaching new agents how to operate safely in dangerous environments near security fencing on the border and to communicate effectively in Spanish. Perhaps more important, academy leaders say, it trains agents to defuse tense situations involving people they encounter on patrol. During the last hiring surge from 2006 to 2009, as Border Patrol ranks jumped from 12,000 to more than 20,000, essential training standards — including crucial Spanish language skills and physical training — were scaled back. The length of training.

Border Report: The Border Is Set to Retake the National Debate

The November 2013 death of a 16-year-old after border agents made him drink liquid methamphetamine he was carrying is a black mark on U.S. Customs and Border Protection, says the San Diego Union-Tribune's editorial board. Cruz Marcelino Velázquez Acevedo reportedly told officers Valerie Baird and Adrian Parellon at the San Ysidro crossing into the United States that he had two containers of apple juice; they forced the teenager to drink it instead of testing the substance with kits that are routinely used for people traveling into California. He died later that day. Despite paying out a $1 million settlement to Velázquez's family, Customs and Border Protection confirmed it did not discipline the officers involved in the incident. Now, after video of the incident aired on ABC, legislators are asking the Department of Homeland Security to improve training at border crossings — crucial during a year that the number of border agents may increase dramatically under a bill introduced last week by Senate Republicans.

Border Report: Trump Wants Border Wall to Skirt Environmental Study

The Trump administration is seeking to sidestep an environmental study about potential effects of a new border wall for a section that passes through a Texas refuge for endangered ocelots, Reuters reports. The 2018 budget proposal calls for 32 miles of wall in the Rio Grande Valley region of the border. In the mid-2000s, when the wall as it currently exists was in the planning stages, 37 federal laws intended to protect the environment were waived in their entirety in order to build the structure. This has created a number of unintended — and frequently disastrous — side effects, such as the area in the San Diego-Tijuana region formerly known as Smuggler's Gulch, which was filled in with 2 million cubic yards of dirt in 2008 and 2009 and now contributes to flooding and soil erosion every time it rains. But Customs and Border Patrol now plans to sidestep required environmental review thanks to a 2005 anti-terror law, passed as one of the recommendations from the 9/11 Commission, that will allow the Department of Homeland Security to build the wall immediately without waiting for lengthy environmental review, as Reuters reported.

Boston Archdiocese, Catholic Parishioners Battle Over Church Eviction

When walking into the front vestibule of St. Frances Xavier Cabrini Church in the seaside town of Scituate, Mass. it doesn't look or sound like the average church."What the hell are you doing," an actor from The Young and the Restless shouts on a big screen TV. Two recliners are set up in front of it, all right next to a stained glass window.Nancy Shilts is one of more than 100 parishioners who have taken turns holding vigil in the church, night and day, since the Catholic Archdiocese of Boston announced nearly 11 years ago it wanted to close the church."We have a TV here.

Botanical Garden Trip

Howland organizes bus tourBotanical Garden Trip was first posted on July 29, 2017 at 7:32 am.

Boy dies in Williamstown fire; two relatives hurt

A house fire early Monday in Williamstown has left a 6-year-old boy dead and his mother and grandfather injured. The Williamstown Fire Department responded to a blaze at the Railroad Street residence of Kevin and Susan Lashomb at 3:28 a.m., according to Vermont State Police. Firefighters from neighboring towns provided assistance. Chance Martin, the 6-year-old son of Tanika Lashomb and the grandson of Kevin and Susan Lashomb, was pronounced dead at Central Vermont Medical Center from injuries he suffered in the fire, police said. As of early Monday afternoon, the Vermont State Police arson unit and the Division of Fire Safety were still investigating the fire.

Boycotting Israel for political purposes is unfair and creates a double standard

Individual states, including Minnesota, have been quick to pass legislation aimed to push back against the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) effort. To date, 21 states and New York, which enacted an Executive Order, have some form of anti-Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) legislation enshrined in law. In just about two years, since Illinois passed the first-in-the-nation anti-BDS legislation in May of 2015, numerous other states have followed suit. This has been one of the most successful efforts in recent legislative memory.Jacob MillnerThese bills call out BDS efforts directed at Israel for what they are — a form of economic hate warfare and discrimination aimed at the lone Jewish state in the world. Additionally, this successful legislative effort has prospered from the East Coast to the West Coast, from north to south, and in blue, red, and purple states.

BP agents rescue man, 4 teens from week-long walk in Az desert

A 911 call led to the rescue of a Mexican man and four teenagers on Monday afternoon by U.S. Border Patrol agents near Sells, about 56 miles southwest of Tucson. The group told the agents they had been walking in the desert for a week before they were rescued.

Brandon McCray

Birmingham Board of Education, District 2
Brandon McCray
Brandon McCray
Age: 36
Residence: South East Lake
Political experience: Neighborhood officer, secretary. Professional experience: Birmingham City Council, administrative assistant, 2009 to present; All The Way Entertainment, casting director, 2012 to present. Civic experience: Birmingham Children's Theatre, patron board member, 2010 to 2015; Birmingham Festival Theatre board member, 2012 to present. Education: Huffman High School, graduate, 1998; Jefferson State Community College, associate's degree, television production in broadcasting, 2005; Samford University, Bachelor of Arts, theatre, 2012. Top contributors: Dick Schmalz, $1,000; North Alabama PAC, $1,000; Charles McPherson, $300; Daryl Perkins, $250; Nelson Brooke, $250.

Brandon McCray

Brandon McCray did not respond to BirminghamWatch's requests for information.

Brattleboro Retreat announces executive vice president and chief financial officer

News Release — Brattleboro Retreat
July 21, 2017
Jeffrey Kelliher
Nichols Named Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of the Brattleboro Retreat
BRATTLEBORO, VT (July 21, 2017)—The Brattleboro Retreat is pleased to announce the appointment of Arthur W. Nichols as the hospital's new Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer (CFO). “We're excited to bring in a person of Art's caliber,” said Louis Josephson, president and chief executive officer. “The Retreat is getting a great leader who I know will play a key role in helping us achieve the financial goals we have set out in our new strategic plan.”
Nichols received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from the College of William & Mary and earned his Master's degree in Business Administration in Finance at the University of Florida at Gainesville's Hough College of Business Administration. He is a fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives and was named as a 2012 Grassroots Champion by the American Hospital Association. “I feel very fortunate to be joining the Brattleboro Retreat, one of the premier non-profit providers of psychiatric and substance abuse services in the Northeast,” said Nichols.

Brattleboro Retreat announces executive vice president and chief financial officer

News Release — Brattleboro Retreat
July 21, 2017
Jeffrey Kelliher
Nichols Named Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of the Brattleboro Retreat
BRATTLEBORO, VT (July 21, 2017)—The Brattleboro Retreat is pleased to announce the appointment of Arthur W. Nichols as the hospital's new Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer (CFO). “We're excited to bring in a person of Art's caliber,” said Louis Josephson, president and chief executive officer. “The Retreat is getting a great leader who I know will play a key role in helping us achieve the financial goals we have set out in our new strategic plan.”
Nichols received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from the College of William & Mary and earned his Master's degree in Business Administration in Finance at the University of Florida at Gainesville's Hough College of Business Administration. He is a fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives and was named as a 2012 Grassroots Champion by the American Hospital Association. “I feel very fortunate to be joining the Brattleboro Retreat, one of the premier non-profit providers of psychiatric and substance abuse services in the Northeast,” said Nichols.

Brattleboro Retreat announces executive vice president and chief financial officer

News Release — Brattleboro Retreat
July 21, 2017
Jeffrey Kelliher
Nichols Named Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of the Brattleboro Retreat
BRATTLEBORO, VT (July 21, 2017)—The Brattleboro Retreat is pleased to announce the appointment of Arthur W. Nichols as the hospital's new Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer (CFO). “We're excited to bring in a person of Art's caliber,” said Louis Josephson, president and chief executive officer. “The Retreat is getting a great leader who I know will play a key role in helping us achieve the financial goals we have set out in our new strategic plan.”
Nichols received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from the College of William & Mary and earned his Master's degree in Business Administration in Finance at the University of Florida at Gainesville's Hough College of Business Administration. He is a fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives and was named as a 2012 Grassroots Champion by the American Hospital Association. “I feel very fortunate to be joining the Brattleboro Retreat, one of the premier non-profit providers of psychiatric and substance abuse services in the Northeast,” said Nichols.

Brattleboro Retreat seeks firmer financial footing

Louis Josephson is the new president and CEO of the Brattleboro Retreat. Courtesy photoBRATTLEBORO – When talk turns to finances at the Brattleboro Retreat, the current buzzword is “stability.”
Administrators say they are implementing a two-pronged plan to improve the mental health and addiction hospital's short and long-term financial outlook. The changes include a major overhaul in medical billing and an in-depth performance review of the Retreat's programs.
Retreat President and CEO Louis Josephson said the changes aren't driven by dire financial crisis. Rather, Josephson said he's trying to build some breathing room into a budget that's been “too tight for comfort” for too long. “I wouldn't say we're on shaky ground,” Josephson said.

Brattleboro Youth Rock Festival receives grant funding

News Release — Brattleboro Youth Rock Festival
August 2, 2017
Jaimie Scanlon
Brattleboro Youth Rock Festival announces new grant funding, expanded programming, upcoming events
Brattleboro, VT—The organizing committee of the Brattleboro Youth Rock Festival–BrattRock–is the recipient of two new grants which will support plans for continuing and expanded programming in 2018. The Vermont Arts Council has awarded BrattRock a $3,000 2018 Arts Impact Grant. Arts Impact Grants support Vermont organizations in their “efforts to create a more vibrant quality of life by providing equal and abundant access to the arts.” In addition, BrattRock is one of the recipients of a $1,000 Economic Development Grant awarded by the Downtown Brattleboro Alliance. For the second year in a row, Youth Services of Brattleboro has provided fiscal sponsorship and administrative support for BrattRock. Festival co-founder, Jaimie Scanlon, expressed appreciation.

Brattleboro’s homeless shelter relocated

Chloe Learey, executive director of Winston Prouty Center for Child and Family Development, and Josh Davis, executive director of Groundworks Collaborative, stand outside a dormitory that will be the new home of Brattleboro's seasonal overflow shelter.BRATTLEBORO – In many ways, Brattleboro's seasonal overflow shelter has been operating on borrowed time. So administrators have decided to try something different when cold weather arrives this fall. The overnight shelter will move out of downtown Brattleboro and relocate to the new Winston Prouty campus for the 2017-18 season, officials announced Monday. The program also is gaining a full-time staff and adding professional medical, substance abuse and mental health services. The move presents logistical challenges, some of which likely will come up at a public meeting planned for 6 p.m. Wednesday at Winston Prouty.

Brazil’s Indians on the march in last ditch effort to stop land theft

Indians protest in Brasilia last week against the Temer government's assault on indigenous land rights guaranteed by the 1988 constitution. Photo courtesy of Guilherme Cavalli / Cimi Brazil's Indians were on the march all of last week, carrying out major demonstrations, public meetings and hearings, culminating on 9 August, the International Day of the World's Indigenous People. The protests came in response to perceived attempts by the Temer government to delegitimize indigenous land rights assured by the nation's 1988 constitution — legal maneuvering by the government which most critics say would largely benefit wealthy Brazilians trying to lay claim to traditional Indian lands. The week culminated with the dispatch of a series of documents, along with an accompanying letter signed by 48 indigenous organizations and civil society bodies, addressed to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, part of the Organization of American States (OAS). The letter condemns the growing pace of indigenous rights violations in Brazil since the visit of Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, the UN's special rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, in March 2016.

Brazil’s Temer revokes constitutional indigenous land rights

A traditional Munduruku dance. Hundreds of thousands of Indians live on indigenous lands in Brazil, but much of that land has never been officially demarcated due to decades of government delay. Now, President Temer's political maneuvering threatens to shut down the demarcation process in favor of land thieves, ranchers, soy growers, mining concerns, and construction companies with much to profit from Amazon dam and road government contracts. Photo by Thais Borges A storm of protest greeted the 19 July announcement that Brazilian President Michel Temer has approved a recommendation made by the Attorney General's office (AGU), that federal government bodies should adopt new criteria for setting the boundaries of indigenous land. Respected lawyer Dalmo de Abreu Dallari, who headed the University of São Paulo's legal faculty for many years, said that the recommendation was a “legal farce,” with the objective of “extorting from the indigenous communities their right to the land they have traditionally occupied.” But the bancada ruralista rural caucus in Congress is triumphant.

Brazilian firm wants to build new dams in Amazon’s Aripuanã basin

There are four dams already on the Aripuanã River. Intertechne Consultores wants to build two more there, plus one on the Roosevelt River, which could ultimately provide power to new diamond mines, should they be allowed in indigenous territory. Photo credit: Haka´s photos via VisualHunt / CC BY-ND A Brazilian company, Intertechne Consultores, has asked Aneel, the federal Agency for Electric Energy, to authorize viability studies to build three new dams in the Aripuanã river basin — the Sumaúma and Quebra Remo dams along the Aripuanã River itself and the Inferninho dam along its tributary, the Roosevelt River. The company provides consulting, engineering and construction management services for hydroelectric dams and has worked on several dams in the Amazon, including the controversial Belo Monte dam. The Aripuanã basin is considered one of the best-preserved regions in Amazonia with a high level of endemic plants and animals.

BREAKING: Brewer Says No With No Conditions to East Harlem Rezoning

Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer
On Thursday morning, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer announced that she was recommending a disproval—period—to City Hall's proposed rezoning of East Harlem. The city's controversial rezoning proposal would, among other changes, increase allowable building heights in East Harlem to spur housing development, of which a portion would be rent-regulated under the city's mandatory inclusionary housing policy. Many residents are concerned the plan will cause gentrification, and at a hearing held by Brewer last month, many voiced frustration with Community Board 11's vote of “no with conditions” and called on Brewer to vote a bolder “no with no conditions.”
Brewer presents her findings in a report that can be viewed here. In it, she says that she does support a rezoning of the neighborhood of some sort, especially as envisioned by the East Harlem Neighborhood Plan (ENHP) spearheaded by local councilmember Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, Brewer and other community partners. Yet myriad problems with the administration's current proposal, she explains, has caused her to recommend a definitive no:
“I support an East Harlem rezoning, but I cannot support the administration's ULURP application.

Brian Fitzgerald: Removing ‘deadbeat’ dams

Editor's note: This commentary is by Brian Fitzgerald, who is dam project coordinator at Vermont Natural Resources Council and coordinator of the Vermont Dam Task Force, a group dedicated to restoring Vermont's rivers by removing or modifying dams.
We're mid-stride through the summer and many Vermonters are drawn to our waterways. Our rivers provide visitors and residents alike with a bounty of recreational opportunities: swimming, fishing and boating. But some Vermont rivers harbor unnecessary safety risks in the form of deadbeat dams that no longer serve any useful purpose. Built to power the mills of our industrial past, many of these small dams are no longer properly maintained and some have been abandoned. Worse still, we don't even know where they all are.

Broadway Junction, Construction Safety: Democracy’s Timetable for Thursday August 10

7:30 am – The Coalition for Community Advancement in Cypress Hills/East New York hosts a press conference to outline demands relating to the Economic Development Corporation's potential redevelopment of Broadway Junction. Across from 2440 Fulton Street at Broadway Junction, Brooklyn. 1:00 pm – An outreach event for the Senior Citizen Rent Increase Exemption and the Disability Rent Increase Exemption programs is held at 75-35 31st Avenue, Jackson Heights, Queens. The event lasts until 4:00 p.m.
2:00 pm – Public Advocate Letitia James hosts a press conference to release an investigation on construction safety training. City Hall steps, Manhattan.

Broadway: 1950 And Beyond-Part 1

Jazz Unlimited for August 13, 2017 will be “Broadway: 1950 and Beyond-Part 1.” Before the original cast record albums, most of the music from Broadway musicals came into jazz via films based on those shows. Since then, music directly from Broadway shows has crept into jazz. We will hear music from “West Side Story,” “My Fair Lady,” “Evita,” “Hello Dolly,” “Fiddler on the Roof,” “A Little Night Music,” Camelot,” “Mary Poppins,” “Bells Are Ringing” and “The King and I.” Singleton Palmer, Buddy Rich, Sarah Vaughan, Keith Jarrett, David Liebman, Oscar Peterson, Shelly Manne, Tamir Hendelman, Don Cherry, Kenny Dorham, Duke Ellington, John Coltrane, Lester Bowie, Cannonball Adderley, Johnny Hartman, Eric Alexander, Karrin Allyson, Fred Hersch, and J.J. Johnson will supply the music from these shows. The Slide Show has my photographs of some of the musicians heard on this show. This a video of Buddy Rich (d) and his Orchestra playing the "West Side Story Medley" in 1980 in Koln, Germany.

Broadway: 1950 And Beyond-Part 2

Jazz Unlimited for Sunday, August 20, 2017 will be “Broadway 1950 and Beyond-Part 2.” Before the original cast record albums, most of the music from Broadway musicals came into jazz via films based on those shows. Since then, music directly from Broadway shows has crept into jazz. We will hear music from “The King and I,” “The Music Man,” “Guys and Dolls,” “42nd Street,” “Funny Girl,” “Company,” “A Chorus Line,” “The Wiz,” “The Girls of Summer,” “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying,” “Jesus Christ Superstar,” “The Sound of Music,” “Sweeny Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street,” and “Phantom of the Opera.” Sonny Rollins, Jimmy Giuffre, Cassandra Wilson, Ahmad Jamal, the Gateway City Big Band, Miles Davis, Stan Kenton, Ben Webster, Lester Bowie's Brass Fantasy, Albert Dailey, Don Byron, Gary Burton, Carolbeth True, Debby Lennon, Gene Harris, Bill Evans, Paul Desmond & the Modern Jazz Quartet, Dr. Lonnie Smith and Kurt Elling will play and sing tunes from these shows.

Bronx Youth Quiz Two Council Candidates on Cabrera’s Sermon, Other Issues in 14th District

MurphyRandy Abreu answers questions at Lehman College on July 20. Fernando Cabrera, who has been the Councilmember for district 14 of the Bronx—serving Morris Heights, University Heights, Fordham, and Kingsbridge—since January of 2010 recently angered some people of his district after saying in a sermon at his church: “You know, it's harder being rich than being poor. When you're rich, you have more things to worry about. Millionaire people, they have a lot of stuff to worry about. More stuff to manage.

Brooks CEO Leo Gomez Finds the ‘Role I Want to Play in Life’

When the Brooks Development Authority board chose Leo Gomez as president and CEO four years ago, the stated reason for his hiring was simple. The post Brooks CEO Leo Gomez Finds the ‘Role I Want to Play in Life' appeared first on Rivard Report.

Brother Fernandez Sims

Brother Fernandez Sims
Name: Brother Fernandez Sims
Political races run:
Political offices held:
Professional experience:
Civic experience:
Main issues:
Campaign web site:

Broward PD Finkelstein says bond court judge Hurley must go; Chief judge says no

By Dan Christensen,

Broward County Court Judge John “Jay” Hurley Photo: NBC6 Miami

John “Jay” Hurley, a Broward County judge who's gained a measure of online celebrity for his brand of televised justice, will keep his post in bond court despite a call for his removal by Broward Public Defender Howard Finkelstein. Finkelstein complained to Chief Judge Peter M. Weinstein last week in a letter that Hurley should be booted out of magistrate court for “expressing his contempt for the homeless and members of my office.”
Saying Hurley “has crossed the line,” Finkelstein asked Weinstein to transfer him in a letter recounting five incidents from October 7-15. DVD recordings that Finkelstein said depict “Judge Hurley's rash and troubling behavior” accompanied the four-page letter. “Each DVD shows Judge Hurley over-reacting, abusing his judicial authority and acting in a manner unbecoming a judicial officer,” Finkelstein wrote. “His behavior is clearly intended to bully and intimidate the attorneys and prevent them from effectively representing detainees.”
But in a Sunday telephone interview, Weinstein rejected Finkelstein's request.

Bryant says opioid task force findings could justify increased state spending

Larrison Campbell, Mississippi TodayGov. Phil Bryant and Dr. Randy Easterling, vice chair of the Governor's Opioid and Heroin Study Task Force, discuss panel's first set of recommendations. Gov. Phil Bryant agrees with a set of recommendations that include increased funding to combat the opioid epidemic in Mississippi. But just how the state will pay for this amid declining revenues remains unclear. On Wednesday, the Governor's Opioid and Heroin Study Task Force met with Bryant to review their first set of recommendations for combating opioid abuse in the state, a project more than six months in the making. The task force made a total of 41 recommendations.

Budget expert: Mississippi not alone in revenue woes

Mississippi TodayJohn Hicks, executive director of the National Association of State Budget Officers, spoke to about 100 legislators from 15 states on Sunday. BILOXI – As Mississippi continues to miss revenue projections and trim spending for most state agencies, a national budget expert told those at the Southern Legislative Conference here on Sunday that the state is not alone. John Hicks, executive director of the National Association of State Budget Officers, dished on state spending trends, tax revenue trends and anticipated help from the federal government under the new administration during an afternoon session at the conference. About 100 legislators from 15 Southern states gathered for Hicks' presentation, including several from Mississippi: Sen. Buck Clarke, R-Hollandale, the Senate Appropriations chairman; Rep. John Read, R-Gautier, the House Appropriations chairman; Rep. Abe Hudson, D-Shelby; Rep. Cory Wilson, R-Madison, and Sen. Mike Seymour, R-Vancleave. Hicks' presentation, in short: A majority of states have cut budgets and struggled in meeting revenue projections, just as Mississippi has.

Buford L. Burkes

Birmingham Board of Education, District 5
Buford L. Burkes
Name: Buford Lee Burkes
Date of birth: 62
Residence: College Hills
Political experience: None
Professional experience: Teacher, Booker T. Washington Junior College of Business, 1982; Birmingham high schools, since 1997. Civic experience: Member, NAACP, SCLC and National Action Network; received a 2017 Community Service Award from NAACP as author of 2011 book “Pulling the Cover From Over the Head of the People: A Review of the Old Testament.”
Education: Ramsay High, 1973 graduate; Auburn University Montgomery, bachelor's in English, 1978; Central Michigan, master's in personnel management, 1981; University of Alabama at Birmingham, bachelor's in secondary education, 1985; Alabama State University, master's in education administration, 1987; Birmingham Police Academy, 1997; Alabama State University, EDS in education administration, 2012. Top contributors: None reported. Main issues: If elected, the candidate wants Birmingham Police officers removed from schools and replaced with a local security firm to monitor entrances at high schools. He also wants an in-school suspension class in every school so unruly students will not diminish instructional time.

Builder Clears Hurdle At Crumbling Coop

Residents of Antillean Manor, a subsidized housing complex, voted to reconstitute their long-defunct co-op board — checking off the first requirement in the complicated and controversial process of selling off the property to a developer eager to raze and rebuild it.

Building a Case for Prosecuting the ‘Gendered’ Genocide of Yazidi Women

Nadia Murad Basee Taha, a Yazidi activist who just told her story of captivity by ISIS in Iraq, Dec. 16, 2015, to the UN Security Council. A new justice movement is advocating for the prosecution of sex abuse of women as a crime of genocide. AMANDA VOISARD/UN PHOTO
As the Islamic State's self-proclaimed caliphate in Iraq crumbles, assessments begin to emerge of the damage left in its wake by its cultural nihilism and harsh sectarian absolutism designed to remake an Arab society. The human costs have been high in Iraq — in deaths, maiming, displacement and the enslavement of girls and women.

Building Ban on Track in Beacon

Engineers will search for more waterBuilding Ban on Track in Beacon was first posted on August 4, 2017 at 8:38 am.

Burgers and Beer

Dutchess Stadium event Aug. 17Burgers and Beer was first posted on August 14, 2017 at 7:36 am.

Burglars Hit Joseph’s Jewelry

Break-in took fewer than four minutesBurglars Hit Joseph's Jewelry was first posted on August 11, 2017 at 9:50 am.

Burien voters will decide whether to revoke “sanctuary city” law

Burien City Hall. (Photo by Burien Parks via Flickr.)Burien voters will be asked whether to repeal a city law that prohibits city officials and law enforcement from asking about a person's immigration status or religion. More than 3,600 people — including the city's Mayor Lucy Krakowiak and two other council members — signed the petition to repeal the ordinance, which many call a “sanctuary city” law. Because the petition had enough signatures to be certified by the county, the Burien City Council had to either revoke its own sanctuary city law or ask voters whether to repeal the law. The council voted 6-0 and to put it on the ballot.

Burlington chief: Police use of force culture must change

Burlington Police Chief Brandon del Pozo. File photo by Morgan True/VTDiggerBURLINGTON – Officials advocated for reduced use of force and community-based policing on a panel as part of the Mayor's Innovation Project summer meeting on Friday. Burlington Police Chief Brandon del Pozo said that policing on a day-to-day basis has the power to “destroy all of us in an instant.”
Del Pozo said that when he looks at Church Street, the first thing he sees is van racing down the pedestrian mall. He is always in the mindset of being prepared to deal with the worst possible situation. He said this mentality can make police officers difficult to talk to.

Burlington continues push for opiate treatment in prisons, debates safe injection sites

Mayor's Chief of Staff Brian Lowe listens during a City Council meeting at City Hall in Burlington on Nov. 9, 2015. Photo by Phoebe Sheehan/VTDiggerBURLINGTON — A high ranking city official said Thursday that lobbying for prison reforms to give inmates better access to drug treatment is a top priority for a regional coalition created to battle the opiate epidemic. “It's not something that was a priority for us three years ago, but it's a focus now,” said Brian Lowe, Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger's chief of staff. Lowe was addressing a group of mayors, their staffers, city councilors and public policy experts from across the country, gathered at City Hall for a meeting of the the Mayors Innovation Project.

Burlington Mayor, Library Director Denounce Hate Speech Found at Fletcher Free Library

News Release — Fletcher Free Library
July 21, 2017
Katie Vane
Burlington, VT – Today Library Director Mary Danko and Mayor Miro Weinberger released the following statements in response to graffiti, which included a swastika and racial epithet, found at the Fletcher Free Library. “On Tuesday morning, I learned that graffiti had been discovered in one of the Library's restrooms,” she said. “The graffiti has since been painted over and the Burlington Police Department has been notified. We will be working with the police on their investigation. As Library Director at the Fletcher Free, I want to reassure our community that such acts will not be tolerated here, as they are not tolerated anywhere in Burlington.

Burlington reduced energy usage during peak days, data shows

News Release — Burlington Electric
July 24, 2017
Mike Kanarick
Burlingtonians Answered Call to Reduce Energy UsageCommunity Proved Readiness for Upcoming Peak Days; Humane Society Awarded $1,000
Burlington, VT – The Burlington community answered the call last Thursday by reducing its energy usage in response to the first peak day alert issued by the Burlington Electric Department as part of its newly-launched Defeat the Peak program (view prior news releases here and here), encouraging members of the Burlington community to reduce their energy usage to protect the planet, save money, and assist impactful nonprofits. Burlington Electric customers collectively met the internally-set target for reduced consumption, thereby triggering a $1,000 contribution to the Humane Society of Chittenden County. At its Pine Street facility, Burlington Electric was able to lead by example and reduce its energy consumption by 42 percent during the peak event. “We're impressed, but not surprised, with the strong response by customers, who truly ‘walk the walk' when it comes to protecting our planet,” stated Neale Lunderville, Burlington Electric Department General Manger. “This type of community focus is exactly why Burlington will achieve its long-range goal of becoming a net zero energy city.”
Nancy Cathcart, President and CEO of the Humane Society of Chittenden County, said: “Thank you, Burlington!

Burlington School Board contesting fact-finder’s report

Yaw Obeng, superintendent of the Burlington school district, and Stephanie Seguino, vice chair of the Burlington School Board listen to a speaker. Photo by Cory Dawson/VTDigger
" data-medium-file="" data-large-file="" src="" alt="Burlington school district" srcset=" 610w, 125w, 300w, 768w, 150w, 1280w, 1920w" sizes="(max-width: 610px) 100vw, 610px" data-recalc-dims="1">Stephanie Seguino is the negotiating chair of the Burlington School Board. At left is Superintendent Yaw Obeng. File photo by Cory Dawson/VTDiggerBURLINGTON — The Burlington School Board has rejected a neutral fact-finder's salary and health care recommendations for the district's teachers, claiming the report contains errors in its numbers and analysis. Contract negotiations between the board and the Burlington Education Association began in February.

Burlington school counselors claim disrespectful treatment

BURLINGTON – Two former guidance counselors confronted the Burlington School Board at a meeting Tuesday, saying a harmful work environment prompted them to resign. Yvette Amblo-Bose told the board that guidance counselors “endured unprofessional, dishonest and disrespectful behavior” all year from newly hired Guidance Director Mario Macias. Four members of the guidance department — three counselors and a registrar — have all quit their jobs at Burlington High School. Amblo-Bose, who had been a school counselor in the district for 21 years, resigned at the end of the school year. Amblo-Bose said she has worked with four principals and five guidance directors during her time at BHS.

Burlington schools chief vows better communication, two financial audits in first 100 days

Yaw Obeng, who was hired by the Burlington School District as the new superintendent after serving 20 years in educational leadership roles, began his job the week of August 31, he said. Photo by Jess Wisloski. BURLINGTON – New Burlington schools superintendent Yaw Obeng, who decamped from a Canadian district with 27 schools to oversee 11 here, has his sights set on improving educational equity and stabilizing the district's finances. “Building on a strong foundation, Burlington School District will serve as a model for the state, by increasing student achievement and narrowing the achievement gap through 21st-century classrooms,” he said at a news conference Thursday. Announcing his 100-day leadership plan, Obeng, 45, outlined his organizational strategy for the turbulent district while speaking in a classroom at the district's offices on Colchester Avenue.

Burlington Telecom expands internet for low-income residents

Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger speaks at the announcement Wednesday that Burlington Telecom is expanding the Lifeline program. Photo by Alexandre Silberman/VTDigger
The press conference was outside of city hall in Burlington. " data-medium-file="" data-large-file="" src="" alt="Miro Weinberger" srcset=" 610w, 125w, 300w, 768w, 1280w, 1920w" sizes="(max-width: 610px) 100vw, 610px" data-recalc-dims="1">Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger speaks at the announcement Wednesday that Burlington Telecom is expanding the Lifeline subsidy program. Photo by Alexandre Silberman/VTDiggerBURLINGTON – Burlington Telecom has become the first internet service provider in Vermont to offer high-speed internet to Lifeline customers. Lifeline is a federal program that subsidizes telecommunication services for low-income Americans.

Burlington Telecom to launch program benefitting low-income residents

News Release — Burlington Telecom
August 4, 2017
Date: Friday, August 4, 2017
Contact: Abbie Tykocki
Phone: 802-540-0948
Burlington, VT – Governor Phil Scott, Mayor Miro Weinberger, Burlington Telecom, and community leaders will announce the expansion of a program designed to narrow the digital divide for Burlington's low-income residents. WHAT­­: News conference
WHO: Governor Phil Scott
Mayor Miro Weinberger
Stephen Barraclough, General Manager of Burlington Telecom
Ali Dieng, Burlington City Councilor & Parent University Manager
Kim Anderson, Director of Development and Communications for Community Health Centers of Burlington
WHEN: Wednesday, August 9, 2017 at 11:30 am
WHERE: City Hall, 149 Church Street
(Church Street Side if outside, depending on weather)
The post Burlington Telecom to launch program benefitting low-income residents appeared first on VTDigger.

Burlington to host nationwide mayoral meeting

BURLINGTON – Mayors from more than 40 cities around the country will be in Burlington for the Mayors Innovation Project's annual summer meeting this week. The three-day event, which consists of panels, discussions and tours of the city, begins on Wednesday. The conference is one of two nationwide annual meetings that aim to provide mayors with the chance to discuss similar issues, and be exposed to new policy ideas. Former Madison, Wisconsin Mayor Dave Cieslewicz founded the group in 2005 with the goal of creating a discussion and learning network based on three principles: equity, environmental sustainability and opportunity. Since its inception, the Mayor's Innovation Project has engaged with more than 200 cities, ranging from representatives from Bayfield, Wisc.

Business Report: Grocery delivery heats up; Eastman Museum launches Technicolor research archive

Retired RIT Marketing Professor Gene Framweighs in about the supermarket one-day delivery competition heating up. It's not just Wegmans, other retailers are involved locally and nationally. Plus, the George Eastman Museum launches the Technicolor online research archive, and news about a big job fair this week in Rochester. The WXXI Business report looks at business and economic issues facing the Rochester area including Western New York and the Finger Lakes.

Business Report: Instacart delivery starts for Wegmans; wages on the rise

Same day grocery delivery from Wegmans is about to begin through the Instacart app. They also deliver from other retailers including CVS, Price Rite, and Petco. The pace of small business job growth is a little slower than it was a year ago but wages are up; accelerating, at what Paychex calls, a decent pace. BlueTie has been sold. CEO and President Robert Doty now owns the business outright.

Busy Burlington intersection to get temporary makeover

BURLINGTON — A much-maligned five-way intersection in the South End is being temporarily reconfigured as part of a “pop-up” demonstration Thursday through Friday at noon. The intersection of Howard and St. Paul streets, where South Winooski Avenue comes to an end, will be reconfigured based on “design elements for this busy intersection as proposed by city officials earlier this year,” according to a news release from AARP Vermont. AARP is sponsoring the demonstration project along with the Lake Champlain Chamber of Commerce, and the bike and pedestrian advocacy group Local Motion. “The goal is to help neighbors, planners and city officials envision what a new community space and safer intersection could look like,” the release says.

Butterfly Weekend

Get up close and personalButterfly Weekend was first posted on August 9, 2017 at 8:08 am.

C Spire, Ridgeland connect for ‘smart city’ technology

Searching for better ways to manage traffic flow and energy, C Spire and the city of Ridgeland are beginning a two-month, first-of-its-kind experiment to turn Ridgeland into a “smart city.”
Using miniature, low-power censors placed in existing light poles and traffic camera analysis, the partners hope to determine how data can be processed and plans can be implemented to save the city money on energy usage, ease traffic congestion and reduce response times for accidents. “Essentially, that's what smart city technology is about: using data that is more widely available and finding ways to be able to use data to make more intelligent decisions,” said C Spire senior manager of media relations Dave Miller. “It's not about just having the latest, greatest lighting technology, it's more about how do you have these systems and software to analyze how that is being used.”
C Spire will pay for the trial run in October and November. This is a part of a greater, global transition of using smart technology across a network of connected devices called the Internet of Things, a relatively new phenomenon as more devices are able to connect to the internet and transmit data. According to research and advisory company Gather, an estimated 1.1 billion connected things were used in so called smart cities in 2015.

CA County Pays Nearly $3 Million in Jail Abuse Lawsuits

San Bernardino County, Calif., has settled for almost $2.75 million three of five federal lawsuits filed by dozens of current and former inmates at a Rancho Cucamonga jail who alleged a pattern of physical abuse by deputies there, reports the Riverside Press-Enterprise. The county has agreed to pay $2.5 million to 32 plaintiffs in one case. Last month it agreed to pay $175,000 to plaintiff Eric Smith, one of the first inmates to report the abuse, which is the subject of an ongoing FBI investigation. Another ex-inmate settled for $70,000. The allegations first came to light in March 2014.

CA Murder Raises Pretrial Risk Assessment Issues

In the dawn hours of July 16, Edward French, a professional film and TV scout, stood atop San Francisco's Twin Peaks to photograph the sunrise. Lamonte Mims, 19, and Fantasy Decuir, 20, allegedly accosted French, 71, stole his camera, and shot him with a handgun, NPR reports. French's murder is raising concerns about a pretrial computer tool used to help determine if defendants should be held until trial. Supporters say the risk assessment algorithm is reducing jail crowding and increasing public safety by offering judges “validated, evidence-based data” on which defendants should be released. In this case, Mims was on probation after serving three months in jail for breaking into cars at Twin Peaks, a popular tourist spot.


New monthly series at HowlandCabaret! was first posted on August 4, 2017 at 6:16 pm.

Cabot Oil files $5M suit against PA resident, lawyers.

A gas driller that was targeted with allegations that it polluted residential water wells in Pennsylvania has filed a $5 million lawsuit against a Pennsylvania resident and his lawyers, asserting they tried to extort the company through a frivolous lawsuit.

Cahokia Mounds: Eclipse-watchers expected at ‘City of the Sun’

Several hundred people are expected to show up at Cahokia Mounds in Collinsville on Aug. 21 to observe the solar eclipse from the “City of the Sun,” even though the historic site is just outside the path of totality. The state historic site will experience about 99.5 percent totality and is not planning special events that day, said assistant manager Bill Iseminger. He expects that most of the eclipse-watchers will want to climb the 156 steps to watch from the top of Monks Mound, the largest of the mounds built by the ancient Mississippians between 1000 and 1400 A.D. “Monks Mound is really the only mound that people can climb,'' he said. “We have stairs up to the top of the mound, and there's about an acre and a half up on top that people can gather at.'' Visitors should bring their own eclipse glasses and perhaps a blanket to sit on.

California Drought May Be Officially Over, But Concerns Linger

Startlingly barren land, empty rivers and rising temperatures have worried the California population for six years, and residents' concerns are not over. The drought in California has damaged home life, jobs and crops, and although the drought officially ended April 4, it is still affecting a large portion of the population. Maya Graham
“This drought emergency is over, but the next drought could be around the corner,” California's Gov. Jerry Brown said in a statement. In recent months, Brown has ordered a 25 percent cut in urban water use statewide, the Los Angeles Times reported. The drought, considered the worst in the state's history, formally started in December 2011.

California Kids Still Face Risks to Health Care

Seven-year-old Lily of Kern County struggled without health insurance until state-funded Medi-Cal became available to her last year.SAN FRANCISCO – Get repeal and replace done, or else! That ultimatum by President Trump to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell ordering him to get rid of Obamacare may be mere sabre rattling, but nevertheless the majority of Republicans in the Senate are still bent on upending the health care law despite three failed attempts to do that last month. “While we are relieved that the proposals have stalled, we know the threats continue,” said Health Access California's Executive Director Anthony Wright, speaking on a tele-briefing. The event was hosted by New America Media.Had the Senate succeeded in restructuring Obamacare, as many as 6 million Californians would have become uninsured, Wright said. Currently, one-third of Californians depend on Medi-Cal (California's name for Medicaid, the health insurance program for low-income people).When senators return from their August recess, they would have to pass a budget by the Sept.

California Officials Say Prison Realignment Puts State on ‘Right Track’

A panel of California officials from across the criminal justice system agreed that the state's nearly six-year-old “realignment” of inmates has led to a long list of improvements for crime victims and lawbreakers alike. The officials spoke yesterday at the opening session of the National Forum on Criminal Justice, which is being held this week in Long Beach, Ca. The event is attended mostly by state criminal justice leaders from around the U.S. and is sponsored by the National Criminal Justice Association, the Justice Research and Statistics Association and the IJIS Institute. It was less clear that the changes, which were led by Gov. Jerry Brown in response to a Supreme Court ruling to cut the state's prison population, have led to a reduction in crime. Last summer, the state said that after two years of decline, the number of violent crimes increased by 10 percent the previous year.

California, Florida Have the Most Active Hate Groups

California and Florida are the states with most active hate groups, says a new Southern Poverty Law Center report. California has 79 groups and Florida 63, the Miami Herald reports. The center published a detailed map of the 917 hate groups actively operating across the U.S.
As of last year, there were 130 Ku Klux Klan groups and 193 Black Separatist groups operating nationwide, the center said. The national total of hate groups peaked at 1,018 in 2011. By 2014, that number had fallen to 784.

California’s ambitious single-payer plan isn’t dead — yet

Despite rumors of its death, the Healthy California Act, a bill that would create a massive single-payer insurance system for nearly all 39 million Golden State residents, is alive and, in the eyes of its supporters, imperative. The post California's ambitious single-payer plan isn't dead — yet appeared first on San Diego news from inewsource.

California’s Push for Affordable Housing Could Weaken Environmental Law

California lawmakers are considering more than 130 bills aimed at solving the housing-affordability crisis. While housing activists are encouraged, the Legislature's efforts could chip away at longstanding protections in the state's landmark environmental law, the California Environmental Quality Act. Gov. Jerry Brown is refusing to sign any new efforts to fund housing that do not include changes that streamline the land development process. Brown is a critic of what he calls excessive land-use review under the law, known as CEQA. He has called such a review “the Lord's work.”
Three of the most prominent bills, including two by legislators from San Francisco, target the review process by limiting the requirement for developers and municipalities to study or mitigate environmental hazards such as air pollution and future flooding as sea level rise encroaches on coastal areas and land ringing San Francisco Bay.

Californians Lean Toward Eliminating Youth Prisons in New Survey

LOS ANGELES — California's juvenile prisons have long had a poor reputation as mere stops on the way to grown-up prisons, overcrowded places where reform or rehabilitation were rarely achieved. That bad rep might help explain why most Californians voice some support for closing youth prisons, according to a recent survey commissioned by the California Endowment, a private health foundation. A majority of respondents want to close juvenile corrections facilities on those terms, with 22 percent voicing strong support and 39 percent saying they “somewhat support” closures. Only 13 percent were strongly opposed to the idea, while 20 percent remained “somewhat opposed.”
Instead of feeding teens into a system that exacerbates trauma and harm, we need to offer meaningful alternatives, Democratic Sen. Holly J. Mitchell said. “We need to get frank about the overpolicing in certain communities and the perceptions that black and brown kids are more violent and less deserving, and how that impacts their lives,” she said.

Call for Artists

Garrison center to host photo showCall for Artists was first posted on July 25, 2017 at 7:41 am.

Call Him “Young Mr. Starpower”

Quinton White Jr. of New Haven has not graduated elementary school yet. But he has won two national dancing championships, and he has no intention of stopping now.

Call It The “Summer Of Loving”

On May 15, 1967, the Black Panther Defense Minister Huey Newton wrote, “Politics is war without bloodshed. War is politics with bloodshed.” On July 29 of the same year, Illinois Gov. Otto Kerner, appointed to head President Johnson's national commission on civil disorders, after the Detroit riots, called the “the war on poverty and discrimination” a continuation of the American Revolution.In between, on June 12, a landmark unanimous Supreme Court decision declared “marriage is one of the basic civil rights of man” and thereby ended all race-based legal restrictions on marriage. That decision, Loving v. Virginia, is the title and trigger for “1967: The Summer of Loving,” a small but illuminating exhibition of books, photographs, and paper ephemera.

Calling All Memories, Ideas for Alameda Theater Redevelopment

Participants are encouraged to bring any stories that may have about the Alameda, along with photographs, old performance tickets, or other memorabilia. The post Calling All Memories, Ideas for Alameda Theater Redevelopment appeared first on Rivard Report.

Calls for Compassion and Action at Vigil for Human-Trafficking Victims

A memorial service quickly turned political amid a rancorous statewide debate over Senate Bill 4, the so-called "sanctuary cities" bill. The post Calls for Compassion and Action at Vigil for Human-Trafficking Victims appeared first on Rivard Report.

Calls to poison control centers about dietary supplements up 50 percent in recent years

Susan Perry

The number of Americans making calls to poison control centers about dietary supplements jumped nearly 50 percent between 2005 and 2012, according to a study published Monday.The centers receive, on average, a call every 24 minutes from someone worried about an exposure to a dietary supplement, the study reports. Most of those exposures occur at home and involve children younger than 6 years old.The study also found that 1 in 20 calls about dietary supplements results in a serious medical outcome, including, in rare cases, death.“Many consumers believe dietary supplements are held to the same safety and efficacy standards as over-the-counter medications,” said Dr. Gary Smith, the study's senior author and director of the Center of Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, in a released statement. “However, dietary supplements are not considered drugs, thus they are not required to undergo clinical trials or obtain approval from the [Food and Drug Administration] prior to sale, unless the product is labeled as intended for therapeutic use.”As Smith and his colleagues point out in their study, that lack of federal oversight has led to “inconsistencies in the quality of dietary supplements, product mislabeling, and contamination with other substances.”Research has also repeatedly shown that dietary supplements offer no benefit to most healthy people and can sometimes be harmful. Yet, such products remain popular with consumers. When surveyed, slightly more than half of adults say they've used a dietary supplement within the past 30 days.

Caltrans responds to concerns over concurrent road work on Highways 25, 156

Spokesman says contractor was fined for creating a detour onto San Felipe Road without checking with Caltrans

Campaign Legal Center requests investigation of Steve Bannon

A leading government ethics group on Friday requested that the White House, Department of Justice and Office of Government Ethics investigate presidential strategist Stephen K. Bannon for using a private public relations executive to conduct official White House business. The complaint was prompted by a Center for Public Integrity investigation that detailed Bannon's unorthodox arrangement with veteran Republican strategist Alexandra Preate — one that may violate federal laws. It also comes less than a month after the Center for Public Integrity and Reveal from the Center for Investigative Reporting launched #CitizenSleuth — a crowd-sourced investigation that is examining the detailed financial disclosures from more than 400 Trump administration officials, including Bannon. “Veteran Republican media strategist Alexandra Preate is providing professional services to the White House and White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon, yet is not employed by President Donald Trump's administration or paid by the federal government,” wrote Lawrence Noble and Brendan Fischer of the Campaign Legal Center, a nonpartisan nonprofit based in Washington, D.C.

The letter, sent today and addressed to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Office of Government Ethics Acting Director David Apol and newly hired White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, asks the officials to “exercise the appropriate authority to investigate, prosecute, or make recommendations regarding potential violations of federal laws and regulations.”
In its complaint, the Campaign Legal Center cites “several potential violations of federal law and regulations.”

"If Bannon has accepted Preate's provision of professional services to the government without any compensation, then Bannon is likely in violation of the Antideficiency Act," wrote Noble and Fischer, referring to a law which provides that government employees “may not accept voluntary services for [the] government. "Second, Preate appears to be providing services to the White House, but at other times, she also appears to be providing services to Bannon—indeed, Preate had been serving as spokeswoman for Bannon as far back as August 2016," Noble and Fischer continued.

CampaignViews: In Defense of 421-a and Housing for the Middle Class

Pavel StarivovThe construction of middle-class housing is also key to solving the city's housing crisis, the author argues. There has been intense pressure, and major media interest, on Mayor De Blasio to redirect funds toward building homes for the poorest New Yorkers. However, there has been little to no attention placed on the lack of housing options for moderate-to-middle income New Yorkers. Currently, the stock of “affordable living” in New York City is extremely low, and has pushed the city's workforce away from the city. While this doesn't sound as dire as finding housing for the homeless, efforts that are absolutely needed, there has been immense progress on that front.

CampaignViews: NYPD Stonewalling Won’t Protect Cyclists

Alex CairncrossA ghost bike memorial to a fallen cyclist. What does NYPD Chief of Transportation Thomas Chan see, we wonder, when he looks out on city streets and observes people riding bicycles? Does he see an ever-growing number of New Yorkers opting for an efficient, healthy and non-polluting way to get around our vibrant but traffic-choked city? Or does he perceive only unpredictability, disorder and danger? And we wonder how Chief Chan — the city official in charge of street safety — views his department's role in Vision Zero, the aspirational goal to eliminate traffic deaths and serious injuries by 2024.

Campouts, Not Shootouts: Chicago Youth Take Back Their Streets

Nicknamed the “Mexico of the Midwest,” Little Village, a neighborhood on Chicago's Southwest Side, is home pouts on Chicago intersections notorious for gang activity. Each night begins with a peace march, followed by a community party with free food, music, raffles and a bounce house, mellowing into conversation around a campfire until 5 a.m.

“After a while, you get tired of not being able to walk to your own corner store—it feels like we're trapped,” Navarro says. “That's why we're out here tonight, to provide a safe space for kids to play and for us to take back our neighborhood.”

Increase the Peace canvassed Little Village to inform residents about the campouts. That's how Leonor Salinas' 5-year-old granddaughter, Sonia, found out. “All week she's been telling me that we need to go to the peace march,” Salinas said at the July 14 party.

Can a centrist health plan attract support in a Congress without a middle?

Eric Black

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper is a moderate Democrat. Ohio Gov. John Kasich is a moderate Republican. They are both pragmatists who believe that the challenges of governing in polarized America requires cooperation across party lines. The two have a growing friendship that they hope to use to produce and promote a bipartisan approach to improving the U.S. health care system (or at least the portion of it that is driven by federal money and federal government rules and regulations).I can't say I expect anything to come from this, but I wouldn't mind being proven wrong.The two governors made a joint appearance yesterday on “Face the Nation” and described their effort.Start at center, reach left and rightThe basic idea was that you start somewhere near the political/ideological center and you reach out to moderate lefty and moderate righty members of Congress and see if there's a version of health care reform that could pass with moderate support from both parties and without the support of members of Congress who dwell on what might be called the flaming left (single-payer) or right (full repeal of the Affordable Care Act with no replacement).Personally, in the long run, I favor single-payer. As I've mentioned before, many countries that have variations of single-payer spend much less on health care and get much better overall results than the U.S. system gets or ever has gotten.

Can a Civilian Persuade L.A. Cops to Stop Shooting?

It's 11 a..m. on a Tuesday last March, and Matthew Johnson, the president of the Los Angeles Police Commission, is seated front and center with the four other part-time civilian commissioners in a large theater-style meeting room at the LAPD's headquarters downtown. On today's agenda is approval of a potentially historic new policy intended to decrease the high number of LAPD shootings. But as has been the case for years now, the angry, overwhelmingly black, overflow crowd is hurling obscenity-laden invective at the commission—and particularly at Johnson, who is also African American. One person tells him to “shut the fuck up!;” another keeps calling him “house Negro.”
Johnson knew that he had a difficult road ahead when Mayor Eric Garcetti asked him to join the commission in 2015.

Can Cities Protect Themselves Against Vehicle Attacks?

Can cities protect themselves against terrorists using vehicles as weapons? No, is the short answer, no more than they can against terrorists using other everyday items to execute attacks, The Guardian reports. Authorities can do much to mitigate the threat, at least to some obvious targets. With hindsight, officials will be regretting not moving faster to boost security measures on Barcelona's Las Ramblas boulevard, packed with tourists on a sunny August afternoon, after vehicle attacks elsewhere in Europe since last year. Thirteen people were killed and hundreds were injured in a van attack yesterday.

Can Making Neighborhoods Safer Boost Organized Crime?

Innovative crime-reduction policies can produce a temporary increase in organized crime activity, argues a forthcoming study in The Manchester School, an economics journal edited by the University of Manchester (UK) School of Social Science. While the increase may not be sustained over time, the potential for such policies to “backfire” adds an unexpected twist to crime-fighting strategies, writes Iain W. Long of Cardiff University in Wales. Law enforcement agencies today employ a number of tactics, such as predictive policing and “hot-spot” targeting , to make neighborhoods safer and deter offenders— and the tactics are often linked to efforts by justice practitioners and social activists to promote court reform or reduce the socio-economic roots of criminal behavior, such as unemployment. But a shrewd crime kingpin can undermine those efforts. Under normal circumstances, activities aimed at increasing the “opportunity costs” of engaging in criminality discourage illegal activity and cause crime levels to fall, the study said.

Can Medieval Law Keep ICE from the Courthouse?

Local courthouses have become the latest battleground in the federal government's attempt to co-opt local criminal justice systems for immigration enforcement, raising concern among state judges that ICE arrests are interfering with the basic administration of justice. But could local jurisdictions find defense in a medieval law? In an article forthcoming in the Yale Law Journal Forum, Christopher Nash reaches back to the era of Henry IV and blows the dust from a doctrine that may help protect the courthouse, and those coming before it: the common-law privilege from arrest. The common-law privilege from arrest dates back to the early 15th century, and protected individuals who had business before the court, as well as anyone who found themselves in the presence of the King, his justices, or inside the palace itself. The doctrine was upheld in America, where it was broadly interpreted to include “all cases” and “any matter pending before a lawful tribunal,” according to the legal scholar Simon Greenleaf.

Can Mental Health Courts Stop the ‘Revolving Door’ of Justice?

A three-year study of participants in one Florida mental health court program found that the rate of recidivism dropped “significantly” after they successfully completed the course of treatment mandated by the court as an alternative to jail time. According to the authors of the Florida Institute of Technology (FIT) study, their findings, which represent the longest period of examination of mental health court outcomes of any previously published study, demonstrates that alternative courts can end the “revolving door” which cycles many mentally troubled individuals between jail and the streets. “The ‘revolving door' has been exhaustive of institutional resources, resulting in such a poor system of treatment that many argue that the system …treats offenders with mental health challenges to the extent that recidivism is inevitable,” wrote the study authors, Julie Costopoulos of FIT's School of Psychology; and Bethany Wellman, a doctoral student at the school. Their study of 118 participants in a Florida mental health court, which was not named, found that three months after release, 90% were not rearrested. After six months, 81% remained free of any charges; and three years after release, 54% had not recidivated.

Can Police Prevent the Next Charlottesville?

by Robert Faturechi

Even before the demonstration in Virginia began last weekend, the police there knew they weren't going to be able to handle what was coming. Charlottesville police officers, including Sgt. Jake Via of the investigations bureau, had been contacting organizers and scanning social media to figure out how many demonstrators were headed their way and whether they would be armed. “The number each group was saying was just building and building,” Via said. “We saw it coming.

Can the DFL reconnect with rural Minnesotans?

Doug Grow

If you look at the electoral map of Minnesota in 2016, it's possible to conclude that the DFL no longer is a statewide party.One little exercise brings that point home: If you subtract all the votes cast in Hennepin and Ramsey Counties in the 2016 election, Donald Trump would have easily carried Minnesota, with 58 percent of the vote.As it was, Hillary Clinton defeated Trump, with 46.1 percent of the statewide vote. But she carried just nine of the state's 87 counties. And not only did Trump crush Clinton in Greater Minnesota, but Republicans won control of both houses of the Legislature.Republicans in Minnesota face plenty of their own problems when it comes to navigating the Trump era heading into the legislative and gubernatorial races of 2018. But Democrats also know that Trump's triumph was a wake-up call, since it wasn't just about his popularity — or Clinton's lack of it — in Greater Minnesota. It was also about their own (in)ability to connect with voters outside the Twin Cities.“I think progressives have ignored rural people and people of color,” in 2016, said Dan McGrath, executive director of the progressive organization Take Action Minnesota.

Canada top court rules for aboriginals on seismic testing permits.

Canada's top court on Wednesday handed aboriginals a partial victory on the need to be consulted on resource projects, throwing out permits to conduct seismic testing for oil and gas in the north but dismissing a separate attempt to quash changes to an Enbridge Inc pipeline.

Canary in the Arctic coal mine: warming harms migrating red knot

The red knot (Calidris canutus), is a medium-sized shorebird with an extremely wide range. It flies 9,300 miles between wintering grounds on the Mauritania coast in West Africa, to summering grounds in the high Russian Arctic. Photo by Dan Mooney on flickr What happens in the Arctic, doesn't stay in the Arctic: change flows south of the Arctic Circle as an altered jet stream brings extreme weather to middle latitudes, some scientists say. It also rises, as thawing permafrost leaks CO2 and methane into the atmosphere, heightening global temperatures. And, more and more, it flies out of the North, into temperate and tropical ecosystems, as migratory birds are impacted adversely by a hotter Arctic climate.

Cancer Action Network finds progress in Vermont

News Release — American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network
August 3, 2017
Amber Herting
Phone: 508-450-8690
Vermont Making Progress on Cancer-Fighting Public PoliciesVermont Lawmakers Have Opportunities to Save Lives and Money Through Improving Access to Affordable Health Coverage, Tobacco Control and Quality of Life Measures
MONTPELIER – AUGUST 3 – Vermont is making progress when it comes to supporting policies and passing legislation to prevent and reduce suffering and death from cancer. According to the latest edition of How Do You Measure Up?: A Progress Report on State Legislative Activity to Reduce Cancer Incidence and Mortality, Vermont measured up to policy recommendations in five of the nine issue areas ranked. The report was released today by the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN). “This 15th edition of the report shows just how far we've come in the last decade and a half passing policies proven to reduce suffering and death from cancer. But now is certainly not the time to rest on our laurels,” Jill Sudhoff-Guerin, director of government relations for ACS CAN in Vermont.

Candace Andrews Bids Farewell to the Garden She Helped Grow

In her twenty-seven years with the San Antonio Botanical Garden, Candace Andrews has left her mark on every plant and pathway. The post Candace Andrews Bids Farewell to the Garden She Helped Grow appeared first on Rivard Report.

Candidates Rich and Poor Competing

Candidates Rich and Poor Competing
Occupational income, investments, debts, real estate,business interests, and much more detailed in filings
Investigative Report by Ken Martin© The Austin Bulldog 2014Posted Tuesday, September 30, 2014 2:54pm
Mayoral candidate Stephen Ira “Steve” Adler is clearly the wealthiest candidate running for city office, while his two chief opponents, incumbent Council Members Sheryl Nelson Cole and Michael William “Mike” Martinez, are merely well off, comparatively speaking, based on a review of their sworn financial statements. These financial statements are separate and apart from the contribution and expenditure reports required in connection with election campaigns. Personal resources provide a significant advantage if candidates choose to invest in their campaigns. But that advantage is diminished if not accompanied by the work it takes to build a broad base of support. Campaigns are not won with checkbooks alone, but according to Campaign Finance Reports filed July 15, which reflected fundraising and expenditures through June 30, 21 candidates had already loaned their campaigns a combined half-million dollars—$504,911 to be exact.

Cannabis economic impact discussed at city business meeting

During a quarterly meeting with businesses, the Hollister city manager revealed the economics of the cannabis industry for the area, noting a "cannabis campus" is planned

Canopy bridges keep rainforest animals connected over gas pipeline

Dwarf porcupines (Coendou ichillus) were documented in camera-trap images, 900 kilometers (560 miles) outside of their known range. Photo courtesy of SCBI-CCS Hundreds of square miles of the Amazon are zoned for oil and gas exploration, with commercially viable reserves destined for national and international markets, including the US and the UK. But pipelines fragment the rainforest, dividing populations and disrupting the movements of species that spend their lives in the treetops. Now, a study using canopy camera trapping has shown that these impacts can be mitigated if natural canopy bridges are left in place when pipelines are constructed. The study, in the Urubamba region of the Peruvian Amazon, was led by Tremaine Gregory of the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute.

Capstone Community Action’s Micro Business Development Program receives grant

News Release — Capstone Community Action
July 25, 2017
Yvonne Lory
Phone: 802 479-1053
Capstone's Micro Business Development Program receives $10,000 Wells Fargo Foundation Grant
(Barre, VT) Capstone Community Action's Micro Business Development Program received a $10,000 grant from the Wells Fargo Foundation. The grant will strengthen Capstone's efforts to provide low income aspiring entrepreneurs with technical assistance, capacity building and mentoring support as they look to launch or expand a micro business. Micro businesses, which employ less than five employees, represent more than 60 percent of all private enterprises in the state. Last year, Capstone helped individuals launch or expand 18 new businesses in central Vermont, creating 34 Full Time jobs and accessing over $853,000 in financing from local financial institutions and credit unions. Capstone works with over 200 individuals, providing one-on-one business counseling and training.

Casella Waste Systems appoints James E. O’Connor as lead independent director

News Release — Casella Waste Systems
Oct. 19, 2015
Casella Waste Systems, Inc.
Ned Coletta, 802-772-2239
Chief Financial Officer
Joseph Fusco, 802-772-2247
Vice President
Sard Verbinnen & Co. Mark Harnett/Zachary Tramonti, 212-687-8080
RUTLAND, Vt.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Casella Waste Systems, Inc. (Nasdaq: CWST) (“Casella” or the “Company”), a regional solid waste, recycling, and resource management services company, today announced that James E. O'Connor, a waste management industry veteran who joined the Casella Board in July 2015, has been appointed to serve as lead independent director of Casella's Board of Directors (the “Board”) effective immediately. Mr. O'Connor succeeds Gregory B. Peters, who continues to serve as a member of the Casella Board. “Jim is extremely well-suited to serve as the Board's lead independent director and I and the rest of the Casella Board look forward to working with Jim in his new role,” said John W. Casella, Chairman and CEO of Casella.

Castles in the Air: These May Cost Us

Along the U.S.-Mexico border, a wall may soon be going up and companies are building liquefied natural gas export terminals in the Port of Brownsville. The post Castles in the Air: These May Cost Us appeared first on Rivard Report.

Catch-and-release walleye fishing resumes on Mille Lacs

MinnPost staff

Walleye fishing's back on. MPR's Dan Kraker report: “After a fishing closure of over a month out of concern for the long-term health of the Mille Lacs Lake walleye population, catch-and-release angling for the popular sport fish resumes on Friday at 6 a.m. … The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources imposed what was originally supposed to be a three-week walleye fishing closure on Mille Lacs on July 7.”Has it only been twenty-five years? The Washington Post's Michael Rosenwald writes: “The Mall of America — all 5.6 MILLION square feet of it — turns 25 Friday, so let's stop worrying about Guam for just a moment to celebrate this milestone. … Happy birthday, Mall of America! … You have given capitalism and cement companies so much to celebrate.

Catching Up with … the Cold Spring Lions

New members sought with a ‘want to help' attitudeCatching Up with … the Cold Spring Lions was first posted on August 5, 2017 at 9:41 am.

Catholic Education, Faith Has Shaped Two Health Care Leaders

George Hernández of University Health System and Kevin Moriarty of Methodist Healthcare Ministries credit Catholic schools and faith for lives of service. The post Catholic Education, Faith Has Shaped Two Health Care Leaders appeared first on Rivard Report.

Cats and chaos: How a town clerk allegedly stole $1M plus from Coventry

Scott Morley, Coventry selectboard member. Photo by Anne Galloway/VTDigger
" data-medium-file="" data-large-file="" src="" alt="Scott Morley" srcset=" 610w, 125w, 300w, 768w, 1376w, 1044w, 632w, 536w, 1280w, 1920w" sizes="(max-width: 610px) 100vw, 610px" data-recalc-dims="1">Scott Morley, Coventry selectboard member. Photo by Anne Galloway/VTDiggerScott Morley climbed a set of fire escape steps to the second-story of the Coventry Community Center, slid through a window and dropped to the floor. The scene was worse than he expected. Cat feces caked the carpeting.

Cedar Rapids Editor And His Reports From Hell

“I am hating war and the conditions which make it possible more as each day goes by, and I hated it strongly before I even left America.”
Cedar Rapids Gazette editor Verne Marshall was writing from the front lines of France, where he drove ambulance for the American Ambulance Field Service in 1916. It was a long way from Iowa, and it started with lunch with an old friend. Iowa History, a weekly column, appears at IowaWatch on Saturdays. Cheryl Mullenbach is a former history teacher, newspaper editor, and public television project manager. She is the author of four non-fiction books for young people.

Cedric Small

Birmingham City Board of Education, District 1
Cedric Small
Cedric Small
Age: 32
Residence: Huffman
Political experience: First political race
Professional experience: Pastor of New Mt Zion Baptist Church
Civic experience: Mentoring at Huffman High School and Metro Changers/World Changers
Education: Samford University, BA in Religion
Top contributors: No campaign contributions filed
Main issues: I believe that by planting small seeds in our children's education will lead to great change in their future. I will develop creative ways to engage students, keep parents informed, equip educators and promote community involvement. I know it takes a village to raise a child and I want to work on behalf of the students and parents to ensure our community supports our school system and plays a key role in promoting academic excellence

Center wins major award from Society of Environmental Journalists

A Center for Public Integrity series detailing battles nationwide over air pollution, climate change and enforcement of environmental laws has garnered a major award from the Society of Environmental Journalists. The Carbon Wars project was awarded First Place/Outstanding Explanatory Reporting in the society's 2016-17 Awards for Reporting on the Environment. The project was the work of reporters Jamie Smith Hopkins and Jie Jenny Zou, news developer Chris Zubak-Skees and managing editor/environment Jim Morris. The award also recognizes journalists from and Al Jazeera English, who partnered with the Center on portions of the series. Part of the project also appeared in a variety of USA TODAY Network outlets.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention award grant to combat opioid epidemic

News Release — Sen. Patrick Leahy
July 18, 2017
Press Contact:
David Carle
(202) 224-3693
Leahy: CDC Releases $239,060 Grant To Vermont To Combat Opioid Epidemic. . . Congress Included These Funds In Recently Enacted Appropriations Bill Under A Program The Trump Adm. Wants To Slash For Next Year
[The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) this week awarded more than $12 million to 23 states, including Vermont and the District of Columbia, to support their responses to the opioid overdose epidemic.

Centers for Living and Rehabilitation earns Medicare’s highest rating

News Release — Southwestern Vermont Health Care
Aug. 14, 2017
Media Contact:
Ashley Brenon Jowett
Communications & Marketing Specialist
BENNINGTON, VT—August 14, 2017—Southwestern Vermont Health Care's (SVHC) Centers for Living and Rehabilitation (CLR), a skilled nursing and rehabilitation facility in Bennington, recently earned a five-star rating from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). “We always work very hard to ensure patients receive the highest quality of care,” said Suzanne Anair, the facility's administrator. “Apart from the positive comments we hear from patients themselves, this affirmation from our most important regulatory organization is the most gratifying achievement.”
The CMS rating system is designed to assist the public in choosing care for themselves and their family members. Facilities are rated based on results of health inspections; levels of staffing, including the number of registered nurses providing care; and quality measures, including patient outcomes, infection rates, pressure ulcers, and falls.

Central Vermont Council on Aging receives achievement award

News Release — Central Vermont Council on Aging
Aug. 9, 2017
Mary Hayden
Director of Development and Communications
Central Vermont Council on Aging
Central Vermont Council on Aging Receives an Aging Achievement Award from the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (n4a)
Barre, VT August 9, 2017 Central Vermont Council on Aging (CVCOA) announces that its “Caregivers Tea” program has been honored with an Aging Achievement Award by the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (n4a). The awards program is supported by WellCare. CVCOA's Caregiver's Tea program was among 52 local aging programs to receive honors at the n4a Annual Conference & Tradeshow, July 29–August 2 in Savannah, GA. The 2017 n4a Aging Innovations and Achievement Awards recognizes Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs) and Title VI Native American aging programs that develop and implement cutting-edge approaches to support older adults, people with disabilities and their family caregivers.

CEOs bailing from president’s business council amid Charlottesville fallout

The CEOs of Intel and Under Armour became the latest to quit President Donald Trump's American Manufacturing Council late Monday over the president's initial refusal to criticize white supremacists and neo-Nazis demonstrating in Charlottesville, Va. They joined Kenneth Frazier, the black chief executive of pharmaceutical giant Merck, in quitting the council, an advisory body that had 28 members when the White House announced it in January. Several other fellow council members have condemned the hate, but refrained from criticizing the president himself, after he blamed “many sides” for violence that left a 32-year-old woman dead and injured 34 others. On Monday morning, Trump railed against Frazier for resigning from the group. “America's leaders must honor our fundamental values by clearly rejecting expressions of hatred, bigotry and group supremacy, which run counter to the American ideal that all people are created equal,” Frazier said in a statement on Merck's Twitter account.

Challengers Pounce on Incumbent’s Absence from Forum in Bronx Council Race

Adi TalwarFelix Perdomo, seated to the left, and Randy Abreau, to the right of the podium, listen to a question at the forum. Eight years ago Fernando Cabrera managed to knock off an incumbent City Councilmember whose claim to fame was a remarkably high rate of absence from the City Council. But Cabrera's own absence was the storyline at a forum on Tuesday night at ended up showcasing two of the men seeking to oust him. Members of the Northwest Bronx Community Clergy Coalition, which the forum ahead of the September 12 Democratic primary in the 14th district, say Cabrera initially agreed to attend the event if it were rescheduled to accommodate him, but after the date was shifted to meet that request, he pulled out. The organizers briefly paid ironic tribute to him by displaying a framed photo of the Councilmember at his empty spot on the dais.

Challengers without a Debate Seat, Voters without a Pole Site: Headlines for Wednesday August 16

“If my campaign is part of the rationale for granting the Mayor an extra [$2.5] million in tax payer matching funds, then it should have sufficient standing to earn a seat at the debate table.”–Candidate Bob Gangi, in the Gotham Gazette
Thousands in Queens Remain Without Place to Vote on Primary DayWNYC
“Less than a month before the upcoming primary election, thousands of tenants at a Queens housing complex don't know where they are supposed to vote on Sept. 12. The controversy is over a polling site at LeFrak City, an affordable housing development with upwards of 15,000 residents in Corona, Queens. Tenants there said on Tuesday that they're in limbo because the community room they used for decades did not comply with accessibility rules under the Americans with Disabilities Act, and city officials have not picked a new polling site.” Our take: Good that Bertha Lewis is there to bring the city's attention to the issue—but worrisome to think what kinds of voter disenfranchisement might happen less visibly, from voters turned away for lack of registration, to voters unable to wait in line on a busy work day. Five Democrats Will Be On The Mayoral Ballot, But Only Two Will DebateGotham Gazette
“The first official debate in the Democratic mayoral primary is set for Wednesday, August 23, where Mayor Bill de Blasio will face former City Council Member Sal Albanese.

Champlain College named in Princeton Review

News Release — Champlain College
August 2, 2017
Stephen Mease
Champlain College Again Featured in the 2018 Princeton Review's “Best 382 Colleges”Students Cite Upside-Down Curriculum, Internships and Job Opportunities in Recommending Champlain
BURLINGTON, VT (08/02/2017) Champlain College is one of the nation's best institutions for undergraduate education, according to The Princeton Review. The education services company features the school in the new 2018 edition of its college guide, “The Best 382 Colleges.”
Only about 15 percent of America's 2,500 four-year colleges and two colleges outside the U.S. are profiled in the book, which is one of The Princeton Review's most popular guides. Published annually since 1992, it has detailed profiles of the colleges with rating scores in eight categories. The book also has ranking lists of top 20 schools in 62 categories. All of the ranking lists are based on The Princeton Review's surveys of students attending the colleges.

Chandler exits Child Protection Services; Dickinson will be new commissioner

State Supreme Court Justice Jess Dickinson
Just a year and a half after taking the reins of the state's once-troubled foster care system, David Chandler announced Monday that he will retire as commissioner of Child Protection Services on Sept. 15. Chandler will be replaced by his former state Supreme Court colleague, Presiding Justice Jess H. Dickinson. Chandler left his post on the state's highest court in 2015 to run Child Protection Services, which had been battling the Department of Justice for more than a decade over allegations that Mississippi's foster care system continually neglected the children in its custody. Chandler's tenure, though brief, has been distinguished.

Change looms again for school accountability ratings

Commission on School Accreditation members Heather Westerfield (left) and Harrison County School Superintendent Roy Gill, (right) discuss accountability standards with Chief Accountability Officer Paula Vanderford (center left) and Erin Meyer, state Attorney General department representative for the Mississippi Department of Education. The number of both A- and F-rated school districts could increase this year if the State Board of Education adopts a recommendation to change the planned baseline cut scores for the 2016-2017 accountability ratings. After nearly two hours of discussion, the state Commission on School Accreditation voted 9-1 Tuesday to recommend that the board change the scores. One member abstained. The vote was based on yet another recommendation by a technical advisory committee made up of Chris Domaleski, the associate director of the Center for Assessment, and other national testing experts.

Change Yourself and Change the World

All of us during our lives as children, adolescents and eventually adults need some encouragement. As the individuals we are, we tend to learn differently, have different perspectives and take risks on different levels. For those like myself, words of encouragement were really needed in my life to fulfill my true potential in the activities that I engaged in. Always being in juvenile hall and camps as a kid I did receive a lot of encouragement to break out of my shell and try to think differently. It took a long time for me to grow, but I hope for you it comes quick.

Changes Could Make ACA Signups in Charlotte More Challenging

By Taylor Knopf
Charlotte residents could have fewer opportunities for in-person assistance during Affordable Care Act insurance enrollment later this year after changes made by the Trump administration. The Associated Press reported that the administration ended contracts with two companies — Cognosante LLC and CSRA Inc. — that assisted with ACA enrollment in 18 cities last year, including Charlotte. On top of that, the number of days for sign up has been cut in half. Folks looking to enroll in the ACA will have from Nov. 1 to Dec.

Changing Eastside demographics — and big money — affect state senate race

Manka Dhingra (left) and Jinyong Lee Englund (right) are in the most expensive legislative race in Washington state history. Their candidacies reflect changing Eastside demographics. (Photos courtesy the campaigns)One race in the suburbs northeast of Seattle is becoming the most expensive legislative race in Washington history. The winner will determine whether the Republicans or Democrats will control the state Senate — and the candidates reflect the shifting demographics and politics of the Eastside. Both likely candidates are Asian-American women who are first-timer politicians.

Chapel West 2.0

Chapel West has done a remarkable job. Basically replacing the city as much as possible and providing services to us property owners. May I suggest the next step?

Chapman: The Life Of A Pro Gamer

Ever since Karlee Chapman of Milford was seven, she's been the biggest, most dedicated (and sole) female gamer in her family. Chapman, who is now 17, enjoys playing video games such as Destiny, The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim, and Dragon Age: Inquisition whenever she has the chance to play. Shian Earlington
It's clear that Chapman likes to stand out from the crowd, due to her video game endeavors and interesting work in school. In addition to Chapman being the only female in her family who plays video games, she claims, “I'm also the only girl within my friend group at school who plays.”
Even though some may view video games as a lost cause or waste of time, Chapman realizes that, for her, they are “an important way for me to relax after a stressful day.”
If Chapman is not playing video games, she spends her time volunteering at Integrated Refugee and Immigrant Services, located in New Haven. In her spare time, she likes to read, listen to electronic and rock music, play Just Dance for exercise, and read trivia.

Charlottesville attack likely to join right-wing terror pattern

The White House's messaging has been mixed, at best, on whether or not James Alex Fields Jr. committed domestic terrorism. Fields, who was photographed marching with a white supremacist organization, allegedly killed Heather Heyer and injured 19 others when he drove his car at high speed into Charlottesville counter-protesters on Saturday. President Donald Trump conspicuously avoided any mention of the term “domestic terrorism” in his initial “many sides” response, and again when he tried to explain those remarks on Tuesday. “The driver of the car is a murderer,” he told reporters. “And what he did was a horrible, horrible, inexcusable thing.”
Attorney General Jeff Sessions was far more specific.

Charlottesville conspiracy theories spread, echoing other ‘false flag’ claims

Amid the chaos of Saturday's Unite The Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, James Alex Fields Jr. allegedly drove through a crowd of anti-racist protesters, killing one person and injuring eight more. But the story being told in some far-right corners of the pro-Trump internet is considerably more complicated. The violence at the rally, they argue, wasn't the work of white supremacists who came to the event armed and ready to for battle. Instead, the entire rally, and its attendant tragedy, was staged by the United States government as an excuse to crack down on free speech. By Sunday afternoon, that seemingly preposterous theory – embellished with sightings of paid “extra” actors and complicit police officers – had taken off on the web.

Charlottesville Police Under Fire After Park Violence

Police in Charlottesville, Va., came under criticism for failing to keep apart warring white nationalists and counterprotesters who battled it out in the city streets Saturday, the Washington Post reports. Anger over how the police responded came from all directions and intensified after the death of a woman struck by a car that plowed into a group of counterprotesters. Experts said police appeared outnumbered, ill-prepared and inexperienced. “The worst part is that people got hurt, and the police stood by and didn't do a g——- thing,” David Copper, 70, of Staunton, Va., said after a melee at a park went unchecked by police for several minutes. Fourteen people were injured in clashes, and 19 others were hurt in the car crash.

Charter School Facilities Funding: Put a Roof Over Their Heads

Bills being considered in the Texas Legislature's special session may put a roof over the heads of more public charter school students. The post Charter School Facilities Funding: Put a Roof Over Their Heads appeared first on Rivard Report.

Charter School Group Sues State Education Board Over Funding

A pro-charter school group has filed a lawsuit in hopes of increasing charter schools' share of state and local education funding. The state Board of Education plans to discuss the lawsuit at its regular meeting on Thursday. That portion of the meeting will be closed to the public because board members will be discussing pending litigation. In the lawsuit, filed July 7 in Oklahoma County District Court, the Oklahoma Public Charter School Association accuses the state Board of Education of inequitably funding charter schools based on the per-student amount schools receive. Charter schools are public schools of choice that are relieved of many state regulations but receive additional oversight from a sponsor, which can include a school district or university.

Charter sector to de Blasio: If you want to play nice, prove it by giving us space

In an early test of the tenuous detente between Mayor Bill de Blasio and New York City's charter sector, charter advocates are challenging the city to find space for 27 new or expanding schools. De Blasio's difficult relationship with the city's charter sector looked like it might turn a corner last month. As part of a deal to extend mayoral control for two years, the mayor agreed to a series of concessions to charter schools, including some that seemed to ease the path for the schools to secure rent or space in city buildings. For charter operators frustrated by de Blasio's resistance to sharing space — a marked change from how his predecessor, Michael Bloomberg, approached the schools – the deal raised hope for a new relationship. Now, some of the mayor's most ardent critics are asking him to deliver on that hope.

Check Out Our Updated Guide to Who’s On the Ballot

The Board of Election has released an official list of candidates for the September 12 primary. Some candidates didn't make it, and there are some new names on the list as well.Check out our updated “Who's Running for Mayor” and “Who's Running for Council” pages, part of our ongoing 2017 Election Watch series. Sign up for the free Election Watch newsletter here. (Note: the official list of candidates for the general election won't be released until after the primary, so you'll see the general elections candidates have not been updated yet. We're also continuing to add Facebooks, Campaign Websites and Twitter pages for each candidate.)

Cheri A. Gardner

Birmingham Board of Education, District 6
Cheri A. Gardner
Cheri A. Gardner
Age: 56
Residence: Heritage Towne Center
Political experience: Birmingham Board of Education, 2013 to present. Professional experience: A vice president and manager with AmSouth Bank, 1982-1996; exclusive agent/owner, Allstate Insurance Co., 1996-2000; director of funeral service, Smith and Gaston Funeral Service, 1986-present. Civic experience: Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc., member, 2005-present; Links Inc., 2008-present; Chums Inc., 2005-present; Sixth Avenue Baptist Church, 1996-present. Education: Minor High School, 1978; Spelman College, bachelor of arts, 1982; Louisiana State University, executive degree in banking and finance, 1993; Miles Law School, juris doctorate, 2005. Top contributors: Bloc Global, $1,000; Darryl Bender, $1,000; Ralph Mayes, $250; Sanders Jewelry, $200.

Chicago Murders Are Down, So Why Doesn’t It Feel That Way?

This story originally ran on Medill Reports:
Murder in Chicago is down—following an sharp 17.5 percent decrease from 2012 to 2013. And with two-and-a-half months to go before the close of 2014, the city is on target for an additional 3 percent drop in its murder count. The trend Chicago is experiencing is national, as violent crime is down across the country. Yet many Chicago residents are painfully aware that the city's struggle with violent crime continues. And youth advocates say the crisis does not feel any different, or any less prevalent than it did in 2012.

Chicago sues Trump administration in battle over immigration enforcement

The City of Chicago turned to the federal courts Monday in its battle with U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions over immigration enforcement, challenging new U.S. Department of Justice rules that would cut off federal law enforcement grants if the city did not change its policy. The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Chicago, is the latest volley over the Trump administration's efforts to force local police to aid Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials in their efforts to find and deport foreign nationals who have violated immigration laws. Chicago is one of many jurisdictions across the country whose funding for certain law enforcement grants is being threatened because they are refusing to interrogate residents about their immigration status, and from disclosing citizenship information without a legal mandate. The Trump administration contends those jurisdictions, referred to as “sanctuary cities,” are breeding crime. Local officials have said that efforts by local police agencies to aggressively pursue immigration issues would backfire, inflaming community distrust and hampering law enforcement.

Chicago teens turn freezers into cars to learn more about cleantech

As demand grows for skilled workers in the clean energy economy, a recent event in Chicago provides a glimpse of what that future workforce might look like. Laughter echoed through a Logan Square warehouse-turned-workshop August 10 as the 30 teenage girls participating in ComEd's fourth annual Icebox Derby program honked for the first time the car horns they wired themselves. The boxcars and their freezer-door hoods were constructed from scratch out of recycled refrigerators, solar panels and electronics into fully operable, race-ready vehicles, albeit less aerodynamic than anything seen on the road. Learning to drive would be just one of the skills the 13- to 18-year-old participants would learn during the four-week program designed to inspire and educate young women about jobs in STEM fields. STEM skills are crucial to clean technology and energy jobs — including in electric vehicles and solar — that are quickly-growing and well-paying sectors of the nation's economy.

Chief Orders New IA Probe Of Casanova

In the second such drama in eight months on the third floor of 1 Union Ave., Police Chief Anthony Campbell has requested an internal affairs investigation of Assistant Chief Luiz Casanova and temporarily removed him from his responsibilities overseeing the training academy.

Chiefs Denounce TX Bathroom Bill as ‘Political Theater’

The Houston Chronicle reports that the controversial “bathroom bill” that passed a preliminary vote this week in the Texas Senate had one particularly striking phalanx of opposition: police chiefs. Top cops from around the state called on the Senate to abandon the bill, saying it would make their jobs harder. Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo said there is no crisis in bathrooms and that the Legislature could be creating a distraction for police. “It's bad law,” Acevedo said. “It's bad political theater.

Child Soldier in the War on Terror: The Limits of Justice for One Guantanamo Bay Survivor

Canadian citizen Omar Khadr was only 15 years old when he was captured in Afghanistan and subsequently tortured at the Bagram and Guantanamo Bay U.S. military prisons. But instead of being treated like a victimized child soldier, the Canadian public has accepted—without question—the U.S. government's labeling of Khadr as a criminal. This response reveals the deep anti-Muslim bias that underlies the open-ended War on Terror. The youngest child to be charged with war crimes since World War II, Khadr was initially captured for allegedly throwing a grenade that killed U.S. Sergeant Christopher Speer. He was then forced to endure egregious torture, from Afghanistan's Bagram prison where he was initially held, to Guantanamo Bay, where he remained for nearly 10 years until Canada repatriated him.

Children Exposed to Crime Rarely Get Needed Services: Study

Children are more deeply affected by crime, both directly and indirectly, than previously realized, a sobering new research paper from University of Pennsylvania Law School has found. And while most states provide services for children affected by crime, a world-class bureaucratic labyrinth makes it extremely difficult for anyone, particularly parents who are not highly educated, to access these programs.
Yet not providing counseling and other help for these children is a step almost certain to cause more lasting damage both to the helpless minors and to society in the long term. The study, conducted by Michal Gilad, looked at five categories of impact across 50 states: children's being directly victimized by crime, witnessing crime in the family, witnessing crime in the community, parents being hurt by crime, and parents being incarcerated. While no one thinks that a crime committed against a child won't cause psychological harm, the report found that even indirect exposure, such as witnessing violence in the community, damages children because of the plasticity of their developing brains and lack of emotional maturity. “The documented harm ranges from physical and mental health problems to increased risk for learning disabilities, behavioral problems, repeat victimization, juvenile delinquency, adult criminality, and substance abuse,” writes Gilad.

Children raised with a cat or dog have no health advantages over their petless peers, study finds

Susan Perry

If your parents never let you have a dog or cat when you were a child, don't feel deprived. Children who grow up with such animals in their homes are not more likely to have better mental or physical health than their petless peers, according to a study published this week in the journal Anthrozoos.That finding goes against the widely held belief — expressed both in academic journals and in the popular press — that pets are beneficial to children's emotional and physical development.Some animal lovers may not like the new study's results, but they're going to find it difficult to dismiss them. Conducted by researchers at the nonprofit RAND Corporation, the study offers the most comprehensive and rigorous look at this topic to date. For, unlike earlier studies, it used advanced methods of statistical analysis to control for a variety of confounding factors other than pet ownership — like family wealth — that are known to be associated with healthier children.“We could not find evidence that children from families with dogs or cats are better off either in terms of their mental wellbeing or their physical health,” said Layla Parast, a study co-author and a statistician at RAND, in a released statement. “Everyone on the research team was surprised — we all have or grew up with dogs and cats,” she added.

Children’s Audition Date Set for 2017 Nutcracker Cast

One of the city's cherished holiday season events is Ballet San Antonio's rendition of The Nutcracker performed at the Tobin Center. Each performance features world-class professional dancers, local celebrities in select appearances, and a cast of more than 100 local children. Auditions for children's roles in this year's performance are scheduled for Aug. 19 from […]
The post Children's Audition Date Set for 2017 Nutcracker Cast appeared first on Rivard Report.

Chin Defends Record, Challengers Attack De Blasio: Headlines for Friday August 11

“There's a big difference between rhetoric, promises, and me who has been there, doing it, knowing it, making a big difference, improving people's lives.”–Councilmember Mathieu Eugene to Kings County Politics
Margaret Chin Battles for Re-electionVoices of New York, Sourcing from The Sing Tao Daily
“Margaret Chin, the incumbent City Council member of District 1, visited Sing Tao Daily to seek the paper's endorsement on Aug. 3. During the meeting, Chin said her track record of helping Chinatown as well as the diverse communities in her district make her confident about her re-election. And when asked whether she plans to run for higher public office four years later, Chin didn't say no.”
2017 Mayoral Election De Blasio Endorsements Roll, Malliotakis Questions PatronageKings County Politics
“Mayor Bill de Blasio, a Park Slope resident, this week rolled out a parade of Brooklyn endorsements from elected officials as well as public support of several important political club. Meanwhile, presumptive Republican mayoral candidate Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis (R-Bay Ridge, Staten Island) took a jab at de Blasio's patronage hiring, and did a cross political endorsement with Ray Denaro the Republican City Council Candidate running against City Council Member Mark Tryeger (D-Coney Island, Bensonhurst, Gravesend).”
Bo Dietl accuses Mayor de Blasio of playing politics by asking slain cop's family to march with him at Dominican Day ParadeThe Daily News
“The family of slain Police Officer Miosotis Familia has been thrust into the middle of a political squabble over whom they will march with in the Dominican Day Parade on Sunday.

Chinatown-International District housing plan leaves out residents, advocates say

This one-story building at South Lane Street and Eighth Avenue South is slated for redevelopment as a hotel. (Photo by Yemas Ly.)Chinatown-International District activists say the neighborhood's existing residents will lose out on the city's latest plan for affordable housing there. “It's like a slap on the face,” said Vic Vong, the founder of the Humbows Not Hotels, a coalition formed to protest the development of a 14-story SpringHill Suites by Marriott. The city passed its Mandatory Housing Affordability bill for International District on Monday in an attempt to alleviate the symptoms of increasing costs of living and housing development. The bill allows increased heights for buildings in exchange for increased affordable housing.

Chinatown/International District residents demand voice at development hearing

The gate at the Chinatown International District. (Cropped photo by Seattle Department of Transportation via Flickr.)A packed house of Chinatown/International District residents peppered questions at five Seattle City Councilmembers at a forum on proposed changes to the neighborhood. Would 6,000 units of proposed affordable housing be enough? How would they be provided? How exactly will the city mitigate displacement?

Chinese company TuSimple to develop self-driving trucks in Tucson

A Chinese company with more than $20 million in recent backing will bring as many as 100 engineering jobs to Tucson as it develops driverless trucks. Beijing-based TuSimple, which tested a vehicle in Arizona in June, is set to announce Monday that it's setting up shop here.

Chloe Learey: Positive outcomes from early intervention

Editor's note: This commentary is by Chloe Learey, the executive director of Winston Prouty Center for Child and Family Development in Brattleboro. She served on the Blue Ribbon Commission on Financing High-Quality, Affordable Child Care. You can learn more by visiting If you want to spend less money on special education in public education, invest in early intervention. If you want to spend less on health issues, invest in early intervention.

CHP to conduct DUI checkpoint in South Santa Clara County on Aug. 19

Drivers passing through the checkpoint will be checked for impairment and arrested if determined to be under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs

Chris Davis

Birmingham City Council, District 5
Chris Davis
Name: Chris Davis
Political experience: Former staff member with U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Maryland; Maryland campaign staff, Barack Obama Presidential Campaign, 2008. Professional experience: Executive staff to the mayor of Washington, D.C.
Civic experience: Counselor, Camp Anytown; member, Americorps; volunteer, Camp Birmingham, Whatley and Hayes Middle Schools. Education: University of Alabama at Birmingham
Top contributors: Carl Davis, $800; Waldrep, $700; Pat Davis, $300; Basgier Law, $200. Main issues: If elected, Davis's website says he would prioritize public transportation availability, revitalization projects within his district, small business incentives and public safety. Campaign:
Chris Davis' campaign did not respond to requests to fill out BirminghamWatch's questionnaire.

Chris Woods

Brother Fernandez Sims
Name: Brother Fernandez Sims
Political races run:
Political offices held:
Professional experience:
Civic experience:
Main issues:
Campaign web site:

Christian radio owner: ‘Trump must repent or resign’

Doug Martin, the owner of a group of conservative Christian-oriented radio stations in Tucson, said Wednesday that Trump must "repent humbly or resign" after blaming both sides for the violence at the neo-Nazi rally in Charlottesville, Va.

Christina Fornaciari: Cut proposed premium hikes

Editor's note: This commentary is by Christina Fornaciari, who lives in Burlington and is the lead field organizer with the Vermont Public Interest Research Group. While much attention has rightfully been focused on Congress' and the president's efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, Vermonters still have important health care concerns to address here at home. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Vermont and MVP Health Care have recently proposed rate hikes of 12.7 percent and 7.7 percent respectively to their 2018 Vermont Health Connect plans. For Blue Cross Blue Shield, that's the highest proposed increase since the inception of Vermont Health Connect in 2014. More than 80,000 Vermonters could see a dramatic increase in insurance rates if these proposals are approved by the Green Mountain Care Board.

Church Street murder suspect seeks to represent himself

Public Defender Leroy Yoder and Chittenden County State's Attorney Sarah George appear in court. Photo by Morgan True / VTDigger. " data-medium-file="" data-large-file="" src="" alt="" srcset=" 610w, 125w, 300w, 768w, 150w, 2000w, 3000w" sizes="(max-width: 610px) 100vw, 610px" data-recalc-dims="1">Public defender Leroy Yoder and Chittenden County State's Attorney Sarah George appear in court Thursday for the arraignment of Louis Fortier. File photo by Morgan True/VTDigger.BURLINGTON — The man charged with first degree murder in a fatal stabbing on Church Street told a judge Thursday that he wants to represent himself in the case. Louis Fortier, 36, was identified by witnesses and surveillance video as the person who repeatedly stabbed Richard Medina, 43, at the Church Street Marketplace on Wednesday afternoon.

Citing a ‘hostile work environment’ at Lambert, NAACP asks Southwest for workplace data

The St. Louis branch of the NAACP is calling on Southwest Airlines to address complaints by African-American employees of discrimination at St. Louis Lambert International Airport. Adolphus Pruitt, president of the St. Louis branch, said Thursday that the NAACP wants Southwest to provide information on who the company had hired, fired, disciplined or transferred in the last seven years, by race and gender.

City College of San Francisco Celebrates Start of Free Enrollment

Above: CCSF Chancellor Mark Rocha addresses a crowd of supporters at a rally celebrating the start of free enrollment at the school. (All images credit: Makoto Takamine)SAN FRANCISCO -- City College of San Francisco (CCSF) is marking the start of free enrollment for city residents, the first community college in the country to do so. It's an important step for a school that not long ago was staring down the barrel.School staff, students and supporters turned out Thursday to celebrate, and to urge residents to enroll. “With the ever increasing costs of a college education, San Franciscans are taking an important step in making higher education accessible to all, regardless of income,” said Supervisor Jane Kim in a press release. “I'm very thankful to all those who made this happen, from the Free City Coalition members who walked the blocks to the students who showed up to rallies.”Kim joined several dozen people at a rally in Civic Center Thursday, including CCSF's new chancellor, Mark Rocha, who said the program reflected the “core values” of San Francisco by “providing a quality education to anyone who asks for it.”JJ Narayan, a CCSF student and leader of the Free City Coalition, described free enrollment as a “bold and radical example of resistance in the larger fight back against downsizing and privatization.” JJ Narayan (far right) stands with supporters of Free City at a rally in San Francisco Thursday.

City Council ok’s Mayor Lumumba’s first school board appointee

The Board of Trustees for the Jackson Public School District can now conduct business again, after the city council confirmed the mayor's nomination for a fourth board member. Bankruptcy attorney Letitia Simmons Johnson will represent Ward 2 on the district's seven-member school board. With her appointment, the board now has a quorum and is able to hold meetings and conduct business. Kayleigh Skinner, Mississippi TodayLetitia Simmons Johnson addresses city council and Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba. A series of resignations caused the board to halt all meetings until Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba nominated at least one replacement to establish a four-member quorum.

City Council Still Reluctant to Take Up School Board Election Process

The Learning Curve is a weekly column that answers questions about schools using plain language. Have a question about how your local schools work? Write me at ♦♦♦
Since I started covering education, I've been hearing a lot about school board elections. At nearly every meeting or forum I've attended, someone has raised questions of how school board elections impact districts and specifically, there's been a lot of talk about a May San Diego County Grand Jury report recommending that San Diego Unified change the way its trustees are elected.

City debates making bids public in Burlington Telecom sale

City Councilor Jane Knodell, P-Central District, speaks during a City Council meeting at Burlington City Hall in Burlington on Nov. 9, 2015. Photo by Phoebe Sheehan/VTDigger
" data-medium-file="" data-large-file="" src="" alt="Jane Knodell" srcset=" 610w, 125w, 300w, 150w, 1024w" sizes="(max-width: 610px) 100vw, 610px" data-recalc-dims="1">City Councilor Jane Knodell, P-Central District. File photo by Phoebe Sheehan/VTDigger
BURLINGTON — City officials are debating whether to make public a group of finalists being selected from the eight organizations that bid to buy or partner with the city to operate Burlington Telecom. A 2014 settlement with Citibank, then the municipal fiber network's main creditor, requires Burlington Telecom be sold, though the city can retain partial ownership.

City greenlights ride-sharing at St. Louis-Lambert International Airport

Updated at 5:15 p.m. Aug. 16 with vote by city officials — Uber and Lyft will now be able to pick up passengers at St. Louis-Lambert International Airport. St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson, Comptroller Darlene Green and Board of Aldermen President Lewis Reed all voted on Wednesday to authorize permits for ride-hailing companies, which cost $15,000 for two years.

City Guide Aids Immigrants Fearing Worst

City government published a book Tuesday with a targeted audience — undocumented New Haveners facing possible deportation and neighbors seeking to help them.

City Leaders, Law Enforcement, Advocates Clear the Air on Immigrant Rights

Elected leaders, San Antonio Police Department officials, and immigrant advocacy groups met to clarify local law enforcement's role in immigration issues. The post City Leaders, Law Enforcement, Advocates Clear the Air on Immigrant Rights appeared first on Rivard Report.

City Mobilizes Against Trash With Zero Waste Action Plan

Can the City eliminate Philly's litter epidemic by 2030? Nic Esposito, director of the Zero Waste and Litter Cabinet, says it can be done if government and residents work together. Michael Bixler catches up with the trash tsar to discuss an ambitious, municipal action plan to tackle the issue

City Nets $43M In Bond Sale

Given the uncertainty around the overdue state budget, no insurer would touch the city's general obligation bonds this year. But investors were still willing — even without that guarantee — to buy up $43.4 million worth of bonds and refinance another $33.4 million.

City Seeks Citizens to Serve on Boards, Commissions

The City of San Antonio is seeking applications for open positions on several of its nearly 40 community-based boards, commissions, and committees. Board and commission appointees serve as community representatives and advisors to both council members and the mayor on specific topics. Interested citizens may review a complete list of current position vacancies and submit […]
The post City Seeks Citizens to Serve on Boards, Commissions appeared first on Rivard Report.

CityAudio: NYC Seniors Might Not Tweet, But They’ve Plenty to Say About Trump’s Policies

Victoria EdwardsJose Luis Roman drafts his analog Tweet to the president. There's barely a day that goes by when President Donald Trump's tweets don't make the news – whether for disparaging comments about MSNBC's hosts, the cast of Hamilton or news on his proposed healthcare bill. But while Trump does much of his communication through Twitter, some of those most affected by his policies do not: Only 6 percent of people older than 65 have Twitter, while 18 percent of those between 50 and 64 are on that social media platform. But many of the programs Trump would cut directly affect seniors. He is looking to cut federal funding for programs like the one that makes the city's Department for the Aging's Senior Community Service Employment Program – a training program with a stipend that helps low-income seniors (over 55) find employment — possible.

CityViews: A Call to Action on Racial Disparities in NYC’s Maternal Health

Bridget Coila
Each year in New York City, approximately 30 women die of causes related to pregnancy, with the largest burden of deaths falling on women of color. A 2016 Lancet series on maternal health put this problem in shocking perspective: The risk for Black women in New York City of dying in childbirth is double that of women living in some developing countries in Southeast Asia. In an effort to better understand and effectively reduce maternal deaths, we at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) decided to dig deeper and determine how many women in New York City are affected by severe maternal morbidity (SMM), or life threatening complications during childbirth including heavy bleeding, blood clots, kidney failure, stroke and heart attack. We were inspired by the seminal work of Dr. William Callaghan at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), who developed a systematic way to identify SMM. Last year, in collaboration with the Fund for Public Health (FPHNY) with support from Merck for Mothers, we became the first urban health department in the U.S. to establish an SMM surveillance system using measurement methods developed by the CDC.

CityViews: An Urgent Need to Address Our City’s Human Dignity Crisis

J. MurphyA homeless person asleep at the 205th Street-Norwood station. New York City houses two starkly different populations: one with substantial and growing wealth and one that subsists on or below the poverty line. In a Dickensian sense, the city continues to represent the best of times and the worst of times. As the city's insatiable appetite for creative urban planning thrives and as it reimagines its industrial waterfronts, streets, and parks with innovative new public spaces, so grows its segregated character and its homeless population.

CityViews: Calling Out Cuomo for the Opioid Crisis

VOCAL-NYVOCAL-NY holds a rally outside Governor Andrew Cuomo's New York City office to call for a better response to the opioid crisis on Thursday, August 17. Last week, protestors denounced Mayor de Blasio's weak and wrongheaded response to record overdose in New York City. They pointed to the roughly $70 million allocated to the NYPD through HealingNYC, a program set up to reverse the city's record overdose deaths. That represented half of the programs funds, all of which they said should go to the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to support a public health approach to tackling the problem. While demanding the immediate reallocation of funds, they continued to point out that public health approaches have been studied and found to be effective, while law enforcement and criminalization-based approaches have never proven to reduce drug use and at times even worsen the problem.

CityViews: Cuts To School-Based Health Clinics Will Hurt The Most Vulnerable

AOB512ICPH's research also found that homeless high school students who had access to school-based health clinics were much more likely to use them than their housed peers. New York City's school-based health clinics are under siege, as funding from New York State was cut significantly in this budget year. Proposed changes to Medicaid threaten school-based health programs further. Ostensibly, it is being done to save money, but in truth it will only transfer the cost to emergent and urgent care providers. In the end the most vulnerable will suffer.

CityViews: Missing the Target on Segregation

HOLCA redlining map of Brooklyn. Editor's Note: The following op-ed discusses the city's “community preference” policy, which requires that when affordable housing is developed, residents of the local community district receive preference for half the units. The policy is currently facing a court challenge. On August 1, New York Daily News columnist Errol Louis wrote an essay entitled “Perpetuating a Segregated City.” The main thrust of the article was how perverse the city's lottery system was by including and excluding the wrong people, thus perpetuating segregation. “Black New Yorkers make up about 23% of the city's overall population, but are less than 5% of the population in 17 of the city's 59 community boards.” He goes on to similarly compare the distribution of Latino households – 29% and 10% respectively.

CityViews: This is a State Legislature—Not a Middle School Locker Room

Planned ParenthoodPlanned Parenthood activists, interns and staff in Albany. As a college student, I am comfortable talking about something so basic and common as a period. But back in middle school during swim class, it took me a while to get used to talking about menstruation with people, specifically when I was menstruating. Especially during swim class. “I'm sick today, and my mother thinks I shouldn't swim in case I get worse,” I lied to my classmates–girls and boys alike–as I handed my P.E. coach the dreaded envelope with a note excusing me from swimming for the next few days.

CityViews: Trump’s Budget Cuts to HUD are a Homelessness Plan, not a Housing Plan

Marlene PeraltaA recent protests against the cuts at Staten Island's borough hall. We are the co-chairpersons of Castleton Park, a state and federally subsidized Mitchell-Lama housing development in Staten Island. Over the years, thousands of tenants have lived in our development and created communities, all because of the programs that kept our housing affordable. Our tenant association has fought back against threats from our own landlord, Larry Gluck of Stellar Management, a notorious predatory private equity developer who bought our development with the sole purpose of privatizing our homes and displacing the tenants. He wasn't able to do it because we organized successfully and fought back, and that is why we continue to have a thriving community today.

Clara Martin Center accepting submissions for art and poetry show

News Release — Clara Martin Center
July 31, 2017
Heidi Allen
802-728-4466 x221
Calling All Artists and Friends of Mental Health
Clara Martin Center is seeking submissions for their second annual art/poetry show entitled “From Green to Fall: Celebrating Creativity in Mental Health, Wellness and Recovery.” The exhibit will be open to the public from September 15 – November 5, 2017 at the Chandler Art Gallery, with an opening reception on Friday, September 29, 2017 from 4-7pm. Submissions must be sent in by August 23, 2017. Friends of mental health are invited to submit poetry, 2D or 3D artwork to display in the exhibit. Applicants must be a Vermont resident, and preference will be given to artists/writers in the Upper Valley. Work must be hang-ready, meaning it is secured in a frame or a sturdy, supportive background with a hanging device.

Clare Garvie & Jay Diaz: Suspension of DMV face recognition program not enough

Editor's note: This commentary is by Clare Garvie and Jay Diaz. Garvie is an associate at the Center on Privacy & Technology at Georgetown Law and co-author of “The Perpetual Line-Up: Unregulated Police Face Recognition in America.” Diaz is a staff attorney at the ACLU of Vermont. Have a Vermont ID? Up until late May, your photo was regularly searched by face recognition software to see if you are — or look like — someone of interest to police across the country. In essence, you were unwittingly enrolled in a nationwide criminal lineup — simply by applying for a Vermont identification card.

Clarksdale mayoral election shows impact of social media

CLARKSDALE — In what could be described as a coming of age moment for this community, the most prominent political tool that helped one mayoral candidate win and stopped another from getting re-elected was the power of social media. On May 16, former state representative Chuck Espy won the the Democratic runoff election against Bill Luckett, mayor since 2013, by a vote of 2,356 to 1,674. From debates in the comment sections on Facebook to forums broadcast on Facebook Live, social media gave voters access to information about each candidates' plans for the future — and at times led to negative posts about the candidates themselves. A look at historical civil rights and voter activism will be the subject of a production this weekend in Clarksdale presented by Reveal of The Center for Investigative Reporting and co-hosted by Mississippi Today. Journalists explore Mississippi's civil rights legacy through theater

Both Espy and Luckett exchanged words with each other through Facebook statuses, creating a virtual conversation between the candidates.

Clarksdale play brings civil rights leader to life

Aallyah Wright, Mississippi TodayTarra Slack (left, portraying Vera Mae Pigee), Brian James (as Paul Pigee), and Jessica James (as Mary Jane Pigee) during a rehearsal for “Beautiful Agitators” being presented this weekend at the Crossroads Cultural Arts Center in downtown Clarksdale. CLARKSDALE – Capturing a moment in time that was becoming a vague memory, local playwrights are bringing to life the story of Vera Mae Pigee this weekend in performances of “Beautiful Agitators” at the Crossroads Cultural Center. The play — a StoryWorks production by Reveal from the Center for Investigative Reporting — portrays the life of Pigee, a civil rights activists who strategized, along with fellow Clarksdale resident Aaron Henry, much of the local and state movement from her Clarksdale beauty shop. Pigee served as secretary of the NAACP's Caohoma County branch, organizing demonstrations and helping thousands register to vote. She is regarded as an integral leader who ushered in some of the first civil rights gains to the Delta.

Clarksdale theater production explores civil rights history

Aallyah Wright, Mississippi TodayKerry Lee (left, portraying Dr. Aaron E. Henry), Nicholas Houston (sitting, as Nick Norphlet), and Tarra Slack (as Vera Mae Pigee) practicing their scene recalling events after Medgar Evers' funeral. State residents this weekend will have an opportunity to view and participate in a unique form of journalism through a theater production developed by the Center for Investigative Reporting. The play “Beautiful Agitators” will debut at Crossroads Cultural Arts Center in downtown Clarksdale on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The original play about the life and legacy of local civil rights activist Vera Mae Pigee also will include a look at the current state of political activism in the Delta. Each performance will be followed by a discussion involving the audience, the cast and crew and local journalists about the legacy of the civil rights movement in the Delta.

Class of 1971 Scholarship helps Balers further their education

The scholarship has been awarded to Balers since 2009

Class-action suit approved against two Minneapolis landlords

MinnPost staff

History in the making? The Star Tribune's Randy Furst reports: “A rare class-action lawsuit against two Minneapolis landlords could cost them millions of dollars and benefit thousands of low-income tenants if they prevail. … Hennepin County District Judge Mary Vasaly certified the class-action status Friday in the case against Spiros Zorbalas, Stephen Frenz and the companies they own, including Apartment Shop and Equity Residential Holdings. … ‘It could be the largest case in terms of damages and rent refunds in U.S. history,' said Larry McDonough, a housing attorney with Dorsey & Whitney who crafted the state law that created the housing courts in Hennepin and Ramsey counties but who is not involved in the case.”War on cars continues. City Pages' Mike Mullen writes: “What's your favorite historic Minneapolis parking lot?

Clay, Nasheed call for ‘direct action’ in response to NAACP travel advisory

Following up after the NAACP last week issued a travel advisory for the state of Missouri, U.S. Rep. William Lacy Clay is calling for Gov. Eric Greitens and other state officials confront the fact that a new Missouri law and other policies are discriminatory. Clay, a Democrat from University City, says the state's racial problems go beyond some of the legislative changes singled out in the the NAACP advisory, which warns travelers that they “could be subject to discrimination and harassment” in Missouri.

Clergy’s fight for income equity seeks second wind

More than a dozen spiritual and social justice groups in the Vermont Raise the Wage Coalition, pictured at a Montpelier rally last fall, want the state to boost minimum pay to $15 an hour. File photo by Kevin O'Connor/VTDiggerWhen the Vermont Interfaith Action coalition of religious congregations held its first statewide convention a year ago, members celebrated the successful launch of its “Building a Moral Economy” campaign by revealing their next step: a “Raise the Wage” plea to boost minimum pay. Then came last fall's election of a governor with different priorities. “We realize when we go after big change, it takes a little longer,” said the Rev. Debbie Ingram, VIA's executive director. That's why the coalition will devote its second annual convention — set for Wednesday in Randolph — to reviving its call to increase the state minimum wage to $15 an hour.

Cleveland Central High opens new era for school district

Kelsey Davis, Mississippi TodayA man applies a new Cleveland Central High logo to the side of the school. CLEVELAND — In the weeks leading up to today's first day at Cleveland Central High – a day that was preceded by years of loud debate over whether it should occur at all – the campus quietly took on change. Purple and black Cleveland Central High signs sprang up on school windows and buildings. Inside, the halls were repainted to don purple and black stripes. Even the fire hydrants and trashcans sported a fresh coat of paint bearing the new school's new colors.

Cleveland Central Middle, High hold first classes under desegregation order

Kelsey Davis, Mississippi TodayStudents wait to be picked up outside of Cleveland Central High School after the first day of class. CLEVELAND — Cleveland Central High School and Cleveland Central Middle School, both consolidated this year per a federal desegregation order, each had a smooth first day of classes Monday. “Classrooms were packed. They were packed,” said Jessia Ramirez, a freshman at Cleveland High School. “It's weird that I'm back here because I just graduated from this school.”
Ramirez attended Margaret Green Middle School, which now serves as the building that houses freshmen and sophomores at Cleveland High School.

Cleveland school taxes to drop slightly

CLEVELAND – Cleveland Public Schools officials, reviewing a preliminary budget for the current school year on Friday, said individual school property taxes will actually be lower this year despite a recent tax increase for school renovations. “You got a 3-mil (tax) going off and a 3-mil (tax) coming on,” said Richard Boggs, board member. “The only money we get is through your taxes, through the state or the county.”
“It's actually not increasing, they're (taxes) decreasing,” said Todd Fuller, vice president of the board. Aallyah Wright, Mississippi TodayCindy Holtz, business manager for the Cleveland school district
District business manager Cindy Holtz noted that the district is reducing the special millage from 2.59 mills to 2.37 mills for this school year. State law gives school districts authority to levy up to 3 mills in local ad valorem taxes for school improvements.

Climate advisory group died quietly.

A climate change science advisory group assembled by the Obama-era Interior Department is dead for now. If it's revived by the Trump administration, it will likely have a new mission.

Climate change causing big shifts in tropical forests

It's well known that climate change is significantly affecting the world's oceans as sea level rise and water acidifies. But forests are also experiencing big impacts. Shifting precipitation patterns are bringing droughts to the Amazon rainforest, and warmer winter temperatures are allowing tree-killing beetles to move farther north in boreal regions. Now, new research finds that climate change may be making tropical forests "move." A study published recently in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that over the last decade, tropical forests in north-western Colombia have been shrinking and changing directionally with time as a likely response to climate change.

Climate change could lead to more infections from parasitic worms

Fossil records suggest that there could be another consequence of climate change and rising sea levels: an increase in parasitic worm infections. Scientists at the University of Missouri-Columbia and the University of Bologna studied clams collected in northern Italy that date back to the Holocene Epoch, a time when the planet was warming up after the Ice Age. Parasitic worms called trematodes, also known as flukes and flatworms, would attempt to feed on these ancient clams and the clams would respond by developing pits to keep them out. By looking at the pits, the researchers learned that the presence of trematodes increased during relatively short periods of sea level rise.

Climate threat to Tampa Bay area.

It's time to get serious and for local officials in this low-lying, coastal region to play a significant role in a debate that involves the health, security, livelihoods, property and essential infrastructure for millions in the Tampa Bay area.

Clock ticking for lawmakers to draw themselves new districts

Some WNC legislators concerned that General Assembly leaders leave door open to shaking up more of map than courts have ordered. The post Clock ticking for lawmakers to draw themselves new districts appeared first on Carolina Public Press.

Close call in St. Louis’ free restaurant contest expands list of finalists from three to four

Contestants in the Fantasy Food Fare competition have been sweating it out in overtime to see who would make the final-three list for a free restaurant space in St. Louis' Old North area. It was set to be released on Tuesday. But numbers three and four were too close to call. Finally, Wednesday night, the six judges decided to the only thing to do was expand the list to four finalists for the 2720 N. 14th St.

Club Draw Picnic

Bring sketchbook and blanketClub Draw Picnic was first posted on August 4, 2017 at 6:21 pm.

Clyburn Seeks 4th Term

Delphine Clyburn plans to hit Newhallville's “Learning Corridor” as usual this Saturday — this time to announce she's seeking a fourth two-year term as Ward 20 alder.

Co-op raises funds in bid to buy Burlington Telecom

Burlington Telecom's offices in Burlington. Photo by Erin Mansfield/VTDigger
" data-medium-file="" data-large-file="" src="" alt="Burlington Telecom" srcset=" 300w, 125w, 610w, 150w, 1024w" sizes="(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px" data-recalc-dims="1">Burlington Telecom's offices in Burlington. Photo by Erin Mansfield/VTDiggerBURLINGTON — A group of residents seeking to keep Burlington Telecom community-owned says it has raised nearly a quarter of a million dollars in just four days. The city is required to sell the municipally owned telecommunications company as part of a 2014 settlement with Citibank, the company's main creditor. Burlington is expected to keep a greater portion of the proceeds if the sale can be completed by January.

Coachella Rising: Aging Farmworkers, Unions, Organic Mangos & the Salton Sea

Photo: Carlos Chavez, a palmero, sits with his daughter Michelle, in a trailer park near Thermal. Michelle is in high school, trying for a scholarship to go to college. Carlos took her to work with him one summer, but she didn't like it. She says it motivated her to study harder. (All photos by David Bacon) Article co-published by American Prospect.Part 1
Forty one years ago I was a young organizer for the United Farm Workers in the Coachella Valley, helping agricultural laborers win union elections and negotiate contracts.

Coachella Rising: Can Organic Farming & Unions Transform Calif.’s Hottest Farm Belt?

Photo: Jose Cruz Frias, a palmero, works in a grove of date palms. Once up in the tree, he walks around on the fronds themselves. Cruz has been doing this work for 15 years. He originally came to the Coachella Valley from Irapuato, Guanajuato in Mexico. (Photos by David Bacon)Part 2. Read Part 1 here.

Coalition of African American leaders wants Arradondo as next Minneapolis chief

Brian Lambert

MPR's Brandt Williams writes: “A coalition of African American church and community leaders are demanding that Medaria Arradondo — or Rondo, as many refer to him him — be appointed as Minneapolis' next police chief, succeeding Janeé Harteau. Some of the leaders worked directly with Arradondo when he represented the police department over a decade ago on the Police Community Relations Council, or PCRC. The council was tasked by the Justice Department to implement a 2003 federally-mediated agreement designed to address historic tensions.”It's the exception that proves the rule, but we'll take it. For the Forum folks, Kim Hyatt reports, “Sarah Hassan plans to celebrate her 22nd birthday in September with a woman who earlier this week here was a stranger threatening to kill her and all Muslims. ‘When something like this happens, hateness increases more,' said the Somali-American. ‘But it doesn't matter what comes out of your mouth when you're angry.

Coke smuggler’s arrest unravels alleged corruption of ex-Sonora governor

The arrest of an Hermosillo man for firing guns into the air led to the investigation of nearly two dozen members of Sonora's government, unveiling an alleged deal between a businessman and cocaine smuggler to funnel money into the campaign of Gov. Guillermo Padrés in exchange for rigged construction deals.

Cold food, hot air.

EPA helps supermarkets switch to refrigerants that save money and lessen global warming.

Cold Spring Couple to be Honored

Recognized for volunteer workCold Spring Couple to be Honored was first posted on July 23, 2017 at 7:26 am.

Cold Spring Racers Do Battle (Video)

Student goes wheel-to-wheel with mentorCold Spring Racers Do Battle (Video) was first posted on July 29, 2017 at 9:04 am.

College Street businesses announce collaborative event Aug. 26

News Release — Common Deer
August 15,2017
Sarah Beal Phone: 802.598.1167
Burlington, VT – Common Deer, in partnership with neighboring businesses on College Street, is excited to announce the first ever “College Street Collide”, a one day block party event featuring activities, prizes, samples, trunk shows and discounts at participating businesses, as well as an outdoor ‘backyard' concert with live music by Josh Panda and Hot Flannel. Various free activities will run throughout the day from 10am-5pm on Saturday, August 26th at businesses along College street in downtown Burlington. This event is rain or shine. College Street is lined entirely by locally owned businesses, a unique virtue in the world of big box retailers and online shopping. This grassroots undertaking is a celebration of the local community, and a way for Burlington's residents and visitors to meet the people behind their neighborhood businesses.

Colleges join forces in post-Vermont Yankee effort

Alex Wilson, founder of Brattleboro's BuildingGreen Inc. and the Resilient Design Institute, is leading an “Ecovation” effort to grow the region's green economy and help recover from the closure of Vermont Yankee. Photo by Mike Faher/VTDigger
" data-medium-file="" data-large-file="" src="" alt="Alex Wilson" srcset=" 610w, 89w, 214w, 768w, 107w, 769w" sizes="(max-width: 610px) 100vw, 610px" data-recalc-dims="1">Alex Wilson, founder of Brattleboro's BuildingGreen Inc. and the Resilient Design Institute, is leading an “ecovation” effort to grow the region's economy and help recover from the closure of Vermont Yankee. Photo by Mike Faher/VTDiggerKEENE, N.H. — Four colleges in three states are teaming up to help spark a green recovery from the closure of Vermont Yankee. Leaders at the School for International Training in Brattleboro; Greenfield Community College in Greenfield, Massachusetts; and Antioch University New England and Keene State College, both in Keene, New Hampshire, have signed an agreement to support a new Ecovation Hub program meant to bring jobs, investment and visitors to the tri-state area. The schools are pledging to provide education, training and support for a wide-ranging effort to capitalize on environmentally friendly industries and expertise.

Colombian shamans want to restore traditional power via national network

SASAIMA, Colombia – On April 1, floods devastated the Colombian town of Mocoa, situated in a rural southwestern corner of the country between the Amazon jungle and the Andean foothills. That day, record high rainfalls caused huge landslides that killed 329 people. Unfortunately, it was a tragedy foretold. The state environmental department had put a warning out about the threat nine months previously, stating that deforestation coupled with inadequate town planning and erratic weather caused by climate change would sooner or later cause a huge disaster. Among the victims of the Mocoa tragedy were a number of shamans who formed part of a little-known national council of Colombian shamans that goes by its Spanish acronym, CAAENOC.

Colorado state test scores inch up, but wide socioeconomic gaps remain

Three years after Colorado introduced new, more demanding standardized tests, student performance statewide is slowly ticking up, according to data released Thursday. Most students still are falling well short of meeting the state's expectations on the PARCC math and English tests, which are meant to measure whether students are on track to be prepared for life after high school. But state officials applauded progress: 42 percent of students who took the tests last spring met the state's learning goals in English, and 33 percent met them in math. That's an increase of about 2 percentage points in both subjects since 2015, the first year the tests were given. The state's poorest students continue to academically lag behind their more affluent peers by wide margins.

Colorado testing an updated teacher evaluation system that will take less time but set a higher bar

Lori Petersen, principal of Arkansas Elementary School in Aurora, is a huge fan of teacher evaluations. But as she sees it, there are two critical problems with the state's system that need fixing:
First, the system is cumbersome and overly time-consuming. Second, too many teachers in Aurora and across the state are earning high ratings while student test scores continue to lag. “I was shocked,” she said, recalling a meeting where she learned that most of the suburban school district's teachers received an “effective” rating or higher — even as Aurora faces state intervention for chronic poor performance on state tests. This year, the state is trying out changes to the evaluation program in 40 districts, including Aurora, that would address both of Peterson's worries.

Colorado will be home to The Center on American Politics

So, here's a Trumpillion dollar question: What the hell happened in the 2016 presidential election? Seeking answers to that is a new political institution called The Center on American Politics at The University of Denver. Launched this month and led by political scientist Seth Masket— you might know him on Twitter as SMOTUS— the Center also counts psychology prof Leanne ten Brinke and economics professor Juan Carlos Lopez as affiliates. Here's what the Center hopes to do:
Over the course of the coming academic year, Masket's research will focus on interpreting what happened in the 2016 election and what that could mean for future elections. ten Brinke will investigate the relationship between social inequality and acceptance of Machiavellian leadership styles through a series of psychological studies, while Lopez will focus on examining economic inequality and its impact on the availability of social services, with a particular emphasis on the Rust Belt cities.

Colorado’s education plan earns cheers, jeers from national reform groups

Reviews of Colorado's federally required education plan are beginning to trickle in from national observers. And they're mixed. What's there to love, according to national education think-tanks? Colorado is taking seriously new requirements to include more information about how students are succeeding in school. What's there to gripe about?

Colorado’s Growing Suicide Rate Thrown into Relief by Williams Tragedy

Suicide is a rising public health dilemma in Colorado, where 1,004 residents took their own lives last year, according to the state health department. The state's suicide rate has jumped 19 percent in the past decade, and is particularly high among middle-age and older men.

Colorado’s new director of school choice: If we hold all schools accountable, divisiveness over charters will go away

For decades, both Republicans and Democrats in Colorado have embraced charter schools. And it can stay that way if the state continues to hold all schools accountable and push for better quality, said the new director of school choice at the Colorado Department of Education. Bill Kottenstette, the former executive director of Jefferson County charter school Compass Montessori, is settling into a role at the department that includes overseeing a $36 million grant program to help launch charter schools. Kottenstette, a father of five who also worked with charter schools in Denver, started in June. In an interview with Chalkbeat, he spoke about the controversy over the term “school choice,” whether charters need to work harder to be integrated and what's next for the charter sector.

Colorado’s new director of school choice: If we hold all schools accountable, divisiveness over charters will go away

For decades, both Republicans and Democrats in Colorado have embraced charter schools. And it can stay that way if the state continues to hold all schools accountable and push for better quality, said the new director of school choice at the Colorado Department of Education. Bill Kottenstette, the former executive director of Jefferson County charter school Compass Montessori, is settling into a role at the department that includes overseeing a $36 million grant program to help launch charter schools. Kottenstette, a father of five who also worked with charter schools in Denver, started in June. In an interview with Chalkbeat, he spoke about the controversy over the term “school choice,” whether charters need to work harder to be integrated and what's next for the charter sector.

Colorado’s top water cop says ‘Don’t divert more than you need’

CRESTED BUTTE — If there was a commemorative coin minted in honor of Colorado water law, the shiny side could be inscribed with the phrase “use it or lose it.”
But the flipside of the coin might read “don't divert more than you need.”
The second phrase may yet gain currency in Colorado as a new set of internal guidelines about over-diverting, or wasting, water were recently approved and made public by the Colorado Division of Water Resources. The guidelines, signed by outgoing state engineer Dick Wolfe on June 30 and embraced by the new state engineer Kevin Rein, say “the people of the state have a right to divert water and apply it to beneficial use but do not have a right to divert water and waste it.”
The 11-page guiding document also says, “the goal in any diversion of water should be to divert and convey that amount of water, and only that amount of water, needed to accomplish the intended beneficial use.”
There are many “beneficial uses” of water under state law, but the one most relevant to the waste discussion is using it to irrigate a crop, such as alfalfa. Recommended Stories For You
And the guidelines say “water that is diverted in excess of what is required to accomplish the intended beneficial use is considered wasted and may be curtailed by Division of Water Resources.”
Rein has been with Division of Water Resources for 19 years and was promoted from his position as deputy state engineer to state engineer by Gov. John Hickenlooper in July. Rein said the guidelines have been in the works for some time, were written in a collaborative manner by staff and were in response to a growing number of questions about the issue. The new guidelines give water commissioners and division engineers direction on what to do when encountering waste.

Colorado’s voter data dump goes to the Trump task force on July 31

On Monday, July 31, Colorado will send publicly available personal information about its 3.7 million voters to an election task force set up by President Donald Trump. The day will cap weeks of drama surrounding a presidential commission that stirred distrust among Colorado's voters, turned a spotlight on the state's Republican secretary of state, Wayne Williams, and led to some 5,000 people voluntarily taking themselves off the rolls. Related: In Colorado, ‘confusion,' ‘hysteria,' and voters unregistering at some local election offices
It all started June 29 when news broke that Trump's Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, a panel headed by Vice President Mike Pence and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, asked for the information of all registered voters in each state. Trump set up the commission ostensibly to investigate voter fraud after he said, without evidence, that millions of people had voted illegally in the 2016 election he won. Williams said then that Colorado would send personal information about voters that's already public: Their names, birth years, address, party affiliation and where and when they have voted.

Comeback for ‘legalized money laundering’ in party politics?

In 2003, Sen. John McCain declared the federal government's ban on “soft money” — the unlimited cash donors showered on national political parties — a “victory for the people of America and democracy.”

McCain was ecstatic: Legislation he championed to reduce the influence of money in politics had just withstood a Supreme Court challenge. And the Arizona Republican prevailed after having enlisted members of both parties in his crusade. But a new Center for Public Integrity analysis of campaign finance data indicates Democrats and Republicans alike are now aggressively trafficking in a new — and perfectly legal — kind of soft money, enabled by a 2014 Supreme Court decision, the latest in a series gutting major parts of McCain's 2002 law. The new tactic is also changing political fundamentals. In a fundraising environment that had come to be dominated by super PACs — committees that may raise and spend unlimited amounts of money to advocate for or against specific candidates — it's helping national political parties regain some relevancy after years of declining power.

Comment sought on Bennington TIF district plan

A redevelopment project for the buildings around the historic former Putnam Hotel in Bennington would be the anchor for a proposed tax increment financing district. File photo by Holly Peczynski/Bennington Banner
" data-medium-file="" data-large-file="" src="" alt="Bennington" srcset=" 610w, 125w, 300w, 768w, 1280w, 1920w" sizes="(max-width: 610px) 100vw, 610px" data-recalc-dims="1">A redevelopment project for the buildings around the historic former Putnam Hotel in Bennington would be the anchor for a proposed tax increment financing district. File photo by Holly Peczynski/Bennington BannerBENNINGTON — Town officials and consultants preparing Bennington's application for a tax increment financing district for the downtown will unveil a draft proposal Monday and take questions and comments from the public. Assistant Town Manager and Planning Director Dan Monks said there will be a short presentation by local officials and representatives from Burke & White Real Estate Investment Advisors, which is helping to prepare the TIF application. Afterward there will be time for downtown stakeholders, residents and others to ask questions or “really get into the weeds” on specifics of the proposal, Monks said.

Commentary: A hidden danger on campus

Meningitis is a disease that can be fatal, and infections often occur in young adults. Rubin
Yet many college students aren't vaccinated for meningitis B, which accounts for about 40 percent of cases, says Dr. Mitzi Rubin of Marietta. In a new GHN Commentary, Rubin says that “parents may think their children are protected when they leave for college, not realizing that the current meningitis vaccine doesn't cover the B strain.”
“Parents may need to ask specifically for the meningitis B vaccine in order for their students to receive it,'' she adds. Here's a link to her Commentary. By Andy Miller for Georgia Health News, 2016.

Commentary: Are we doomed? Let’s have a conversation.

We are approaching one of history's great discontinuities. There is probably no technically and financially feasible energy pathway to enable those of us in highly industrialized countries to maintain current levels of energy usage very far into the future.

Commentary: Good art does not have to be within the walls of a museum

It's nice to visit an art museum to view beautiful and exciting art exhibitions or to see and hear music, dance or poetry from a stage, but the walls and stages are not always essential to feel and hear the excitement of a work of art. Take for example Desert X in Palm Springs, California. The description of the exhibition in the catalogue says, "Desert X is an exhibition of site-specific art installations that range across the Coachella Valley. Artists from different parts of the world were selected to make the blank canvas upon which contemporary artists - like the writers, architects, musicians and others before them - projected their visions and created, from the extraordinary natural and social history around them, objects and experiences that reflect upon the matchless spectacle of the geologic epic.” Susan Davis, the founder of this incredible exhibition was influenced by a trip to Cartagena, Columbia where she experienced the city's first art biennial. Artists installed their

Commentary: Reports of a solar slowdown are greatly exaggerated

The writer Jonathan Swift wrote in 1710: “Falsehood flies, and the Truth comes limping after it.” Considering how far and fast misinformation can travel in this era of digital mass communication, Swift's observation has grown even more prescient. Michael Vickerman is program and policy director of RENEW Wisconsin, a renewable energy advocacy organization. Earlier this month, a New York Times article declared that prospects for the U.S. rooftop solar market were dimming rapidly, a result of a utility-led campaign to roll back solar incentives at the state level. According to the article, the “explosive” growth experienced by the solar market in the last two years “has come to a shuddering stop,” going from an increase of 900 percent to a decline of 2 percent. A few days later, a Chicago Sun-Times editorial cited these same statistics to paint its own grim portrait of a market seizing up due to the utilities' pressure campaign.

Committee begins detailed review of Bennington town charter

Stuart Hurd, the town manager of Bennington. City photoBENNINGTON — The town's Charter Review Committee began a line-by-line review of the existing charter on Wednesday and quickly found that task could be complex and time-consuming. The seven-member committee, appointed in July by the Selectboard, will review the 23-page document with an eye toward recommending amendments, to be submitted in a report to the board. The Selectboard will then decide which, if any, changes should be placed before town voters for adoption, and later submitted to the Legislature and governor for final approvals. The committee also discussed having an enhanced online information and public commenting page within on the town of Bennington website.

Committee begins detailed review of Bennington town charter

The Bennington Charter Review Committee pores over proposed changes to the town charter at a recent meeting. Photo by Ed Damon/The Bennington Banner.BENNINGTON — The town's Charter Review Committee began a line-by-line review of the existing charter on Wednesday and quickly found that task could be complex and time-consuming. The seven-member committee, appointed in July by the Selectboard, will review the 23-page document with an eye toward recommending amendments, to be submitted in a report to the board. The Selectboard will then decide which, if any, changes should be placed before town voters for adoption, and later submitted to the Legislature and governor for final approvals. The committee also discussed having an enhanced online information and public commenting page linked from the town of Bennington website.

Committee for the Vermont Agricultural Hall of Fame announces inductees

News Release — Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets
July 20, 2017
Jackie Folsom
The Committee for the Vermont Agricultural Hall of Fame is pleased to announce the inductees for 2017. Recipients are chosen based on their accomplishments and significant contributions to Vermont agriculture. They are:
• Rupert and Muriel Chamberlin, former dairy farmers and well-known Jersey breeders
• Ray and Pam Allen, applegrowers and agritourism leaders
• Claude Bourbeau, former dairy farmer and leader in dairy issues
These nominees will be honored on Wednesday, August, 30, 2017, during the invitation only luncheon at the Champlain Valley Exposition. Also during that time, the black and white photographs of the 2016 inductees will be unveiled. These photos will feature Gordon Booth, Anne C. Brown, Walter and Sally Goodrich and Ralph McNall.

Common interrogation technique suspected of causing false confessions

As she voluntarily entered the police interrogation room in Moline, Illinois, four years ago, Dorothy Varallo-Speckeen thought she was there to help solve a child-abuse case. She soon realized, however, Detective Marcella O'Brien thought she — a then-22-year-old babysitter with no criminal record — had abused the child, a felony punishable by up to 30 years imprisonment. In the videotaped interrogation, O'Brien said, “I'm not trying to point fingers, but I know for a fact that the injury occurred during the time when you guys were watching Brylee,” referring to Varallo-Speckeen and her girlfriend and the 15-month-old toddler they were watching. O'Brien subjected Varallo-Speckeen to an interrogation that sought to extract a confession. Her tactics are common in law enforcement, but some experts say they can coerce false confessions and should be abandoned.

Common Sense Media Strives to be ‘AARP for Kids’

A California nonprofit organization which rates children's media recently announced that it plans to become an advocate for educational technology, early childhood education and other issues. The San Francisco-based organization, Common Sense Media, offers free reviews and ratings of children's media, including television shows, movies, video games and apps. The organization's founder and chief executive, James P. Steyer, said he plans to use the 65 million users as “an army of advocates for kids.”
“Our goal is to be AARP for kids,” Steyer said in a telephone interview Monday. “We're going to ask people to step up and make kids and education the number one priority in this country.”
Steyer added that the group plans to urge state lawmakers into action on a broad range of topics including access to digital classroom technology and the privacy of student data in order to improve upon career and technical education, as well as childhood poverty, writes Emma Brown for The Washington Post. “We have a simple mission: to make kids and education the nation's top priority,” said Steyer.

Communities In Schools Loses Major Grant That Funds College Readiness

The federal government has opted not to renew a $400,000-a-year grant that enables CISSA to prepare South San Antonio High School students for college. The post Communities In Schools Loses Major Grant That Funds College Readiness appeared first on Rivard Report.

Community Congress

Philipstown residents organize eventCommunity Congress was first posted on July 24, 2017 at 7:36 am.

Community Gathering for Human Rights and Dignity is Monday in Stowe

News Release — Greater Stowe Interfaith Coalition
Aug. 18, 2017
In response to recent acts of hatred and white supremacy across the nation, the Greater Stowe Interfaith Coalition invites you to join us for a Community Gathering for Human Rights and Dignity:
Monday, August 21
5:30 PM
Outside the Akeley Memorial Building, Stowe
This interfaith, nonpartisan event is open to people of all religions, political parties, gender identities, races, and immigration status, as well of people of no religion, no political party, no gender identity, no race, and no immigration status. Some people are responding to white supremacy with anger, and some are turning towards love. At a time when human rights are threatened and dignity is broken, we come together as a community at the intersection of outrage and love. Please join us.

Community Health Centers Face Funding Cliff Unless Congress Acts Soon

By Rose Hoban
With Congress' recent failure to repeal and/or replace the Affordable Care Act, many health care providers feel that they have enough certainty to plan for the coming year. But the leaders of North Carolina's community health centers say they're still not able to relax because they're staring down a budgetary hole that Congress still needs to fix. If nothing happens before Sept. 30, community health centers will see a 70 percent cut to the federal grants that keep the clinics going. For Carrboro-based Piedmont Health, the total that's at risk is close to $6 million for the coming fiscal year, out of a total operating budget of about $52 million.

Community Impact matching grants awarded

Community Foundation awards 32 nonprofits with a matching grant from unds provided by the David and Lucile Packard Foundation

Community invited to McCarthy Park improvement meeting

Input sought on proposed features for the park project, which has received a $667,000 grant

Community, Council to Weigh in on Annexation Plans

Mayor Ron Nirenberg and the new Council were briefed by City staff on the latest annexation proposals Wednesday. The post Community, Council to Weigh in on Annexation Plans appeared first on Rivard Report.

Commuter Rage, Trump Protests: Campaign Newswire for July 27

“I have seen platforms at 53rd Street get so crowded during evening rush hour that there is no room for passengers to get off the down escalators, creating total chaos. And that's when the escalators are working.”-Clinton Hill resident Jessica Hollman, at an MTA board meeting
Mayor Says Help to Donor Was Business as UsualNew York Post
Mayor de Blasio claimed Wednesday that City Hall's intervention in a contract dispute involving a major campaign donor was nothing unusual and is the sort of thing that happens regularly with ordinary New Yorkers. But when asked to give a single ­example, he balked. “I don't have one for you today,” he said during an unrelated press conference in Queens. “I've experienced many.”
LaGuardia CC Boss Pushed Staff to Back Cuomo PlanGotham Gazette
Dr. Gail O. Mellow, the president of LaGuardia Community College, contacted fellow City University of New York (CUNY) presidents to gather statements in support of the proposed Excelsior Scholarship program on behalf of Governor Andrew Cuomo, before the proposal was passed and signed into law earlier this year.

Company’s strides highlighted as part of ‘Startup Day’

A local manufacturer's advances were celebrated Tuesday as part of Startup Day Across America . SiMPore Inc. , a nanotechnology company that designs and produces membranes, showcased two projects it's developing. James Roussie,SiMPore's chief scientific officer, said one involves developing filters to enable a small-scale blood dialysis system. The other would help red blood cells that are grown in culture to mature properly. “We're trying to apply our membrane technologies toward solving some pretty significant health challenges,” Roussie said.

Compass Rose Academy Sets Course for Southeast SA

Compass Rose Academy will move into a building formerly occupied by Brooks Estrella Academy on the city's Southeast side. The post Compass Rose Academy Sets Course for Southeast SA appeared first on Rivard Report.

Complete 2 Compete site launches for students to finish what they started

Gov. Phil Bryant announced Tuesday that 2,400 former students who never completed their bachelor's degree but may not need additional course work are just a click away from receiving their degree by accessing the new Complete 2 Compete program online. “A little boy that grew up in a blue collar world would grow up to be the governor of the state of Mississippi. You can't hardly do that without a degree,” said Bryant. In November, Bryant and state education officials introduced Complete 2 Compete, an initiative that would help former students return to the classroom to complete their college degree programs.
Complete 2 Compete could award 200,000-plus Mississippians with college degrees, including 28,000 students who have enough credits to earn an associate's degree with no additional course work and more than 100,000 former students who can earn either an associate's or bachelor's degree with some additional course work. There is no cost for accessing the Complete 2 Compete portal.

Comptroller: NY’s financial outlook “clouded” by uncertainty

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli is sounding the fiscal alarm, saying the state could be headed toward increased financial challenges in the future. A report issued Friday by the Democratic comptroller's office cited uncertainty in Washington about proposals to cut funding for health care and other programs that boost the state's bottom line. DiNapoli also pointed to lower-than-expected tax revenue as a concern. Personal income tax receipts in the first quarter of this fiscal year were $1.7 billion lower than estimates made in February, and $1.5 billion lower than the same period last year. He says that if the revenue slump continues the state's out-year budget deficits will increase, putting greater fiscal strain on state operations.

Conaway, steering House Russia investigation, eyes Intelligence Committee Chair

SAN ANGELO - U.S. Rep. Mike Conaway currently has one of the strangest work loads in Washington: chairing the committee tasked with writing a massive farm bill while also leading the chamber's investigation into election-meddling by Russia. But while surrounded by cowboys and farmers earlier this week during an industry listening tour, the Midland Republican said that those may not be the last high-profile assignments he leads in Congress, if he has any say. Conaway is already currently leading the House Intelligence Committee's most high-profile work. Supposing the GOP holds onto power in the U.S. House in the coming years, would he want to serve as the chairman of that powerful committee someday? "Sure," he told the Tribune.

Concerns Over Profiling as MO Troopers Police St. Louis

A new pilot program that assigns 20 to 30 Missouri Highway Patrol troopers to police the interstate highways in St. Louis has sparked fear that the influx could lead to increased racial profiling, reports the Post-Dispatch. Gov. Eric Greitens announced a series of initiatives this month to combat crime in St. Louis, including collaborative efforts with the FBI, DEA, and the state Departments of Corrections, Social Services and Mental Health. But the 90-day program putting troopers along Interstates 55 and 70 has raised questions for civil rights groups, including the ACLU of Missouri, which wants to know how decisions are being made about trooper placement.

Concession debate begins after offer by holdout Democrats

The fate of a state-employee concession deal hinged Monday on whether Senate Democrats would satisfy some demands for unspecified fiscal reforms made by three wary colleagues, any one of whom holds the power to kill the deal by voting with Republicans in the evenly divided Senate. Debate began at 2:21 p.m., an indication leadership believed all three were on board.

Confederate Monument in Linn Park Covered in Wake of Virginia Protests

Sam Prickett, BirminghamWatchThis Confederate monument has stood in Linn Park since 1905. Aug. 15, 2017 — Mayor William Bell ordered a Confederate monument outside Birmingham City Hall to be covered with plastic on Tuesday afternoon while efforts are made to remove it. Bell's decision came after the topic of removing the statute was brought up during the morning's City Council meeting. Council President Johnathan Austin had called on Bell to remove the monument and others like it in Birmingham, calling them “offensive” and saying they “celebrate racism, bigotry, hate and all those things that the South has been known for.

Confusion, Fear, Cynicism: Why People Don’t Report Hate Incidents

by Ken Schwencke

It is one of the most striking and curious statistics contained in a recent Bureau of Justice Statistics report on hate crimes in America: 54 percent of the roughly 250,000 people who said they were victimized in recent years chose not to file a formal complaint with the authorities. The Matthew Shepard Foundation, an advocacy organization based in Colorado that played a role in successfully pushing for national hate crime legislation, has recently tried to better understand the phenomenon. The foundation began asking the Denver residents notifying the organization about being victimized to explain why they did or did not report the incident to the police. The effort began in February and so far has produced a modest 15 responses — not all of which appear to be crimes. But in a country largely bereft of reliable or probing data on hate crimes, the information collected by the foundation has value.

Congressman reacts to president’s statements on transgender military members

Panetta calls Trump's statements calling for banning of transgender military service "shameful and prejudiced"

Congressman: If female GOP senators were South Texas men, I’d challenge them to a duel

WASHINGTON — A Texas GOP congressman says if the three female Republican senators who oppose a bill repealing Obamacare were men from South Texas, he might challenge them to a duel. "The fact that the Senate does not have the courage to do some of the things that every Republican in the Senate promised to do is just absolutely repugnant to me," U.S. Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Corpus Christi, told his local radio host Bob Jones on Friday. "Some of the people that are opposed to this, there are female senators from the Northeast... If it was a guy from South Texas, I might ask him to step outside and settle this Aaron Burr-style." In 1804, Aaron Burr famously shot and killed his political adversary, Alexander Hamilton, in a New Jersey duel.

Congressmen hold ag roundtable discussion in Salinas

Reps. Jimmy Panetta, Collin Peterson and Jim Costa of the House Agriculture Committee hold session in Salinas to hear concerns from the ag industry to incorporate into the 2018 Farm Bill

Connecticut updates goals for energy, climate change

Connecticut published a draft of its overdue comprehensive energy strategy Wednesday at a tumultuous time as the Trump administration steps away from international climate accords and the state faces the threatened loss of its biggest source of carbon-free power, the Millstone Power Station.

Conservation community failing to use evidence to make decisions, scientists say

How do you save a species or protect a habitat? For the past few decades, scientists have been calling for an increased use of scientific evidence — carefully controlled, peer-reviewed scientific studies — to make conservation decisions. However, things don't seem to have changed much. Despite the rise in peer-reviewed scientific evidence being generated, intuition, personal experience and anecdotes remain at the center of conservation practice, William J. Sutherland and Claire Wordley of the University of Cambridge, U.K., report in a new article published in Nature Ecology & Evolution. Concerned by this, the authors have coined the term “evidence complacency” to highlight the persistence of a culture in which, “despite availability, evidence is not sought or used to make decisions, and the impact of actions is not tested.” This complacency can not only lead to a wastage of money, time and opportunities, but also show conservation as an unjustifiable investment, the researchers say.

Conservation Fund purchases forestland in three states

The Conservation Fund has announced the purchase of 23,053 acres of working forestland in Vermont, New York and Massachusetts. The parcels are sections of the Cowee Forest lands. They provide connections to existing conserved areas and recreational resources, including the Taconic Crest Trail, as well as protection for important wildlife habitat, the organization said. A spokeswoman said the purchase price was about $25 million. Included are parcels in the Manchester-Arlington area in Vermont, along the Pownal border near the Taconic Crest Trail, and on both sides of the New York-Massachusetts border with Berkshire County, Massachusetts.

Conserving the World’s Remaining Intact Forests

Intact forests are among the few places on earth where native trees and animals can fulfill their ecological roles outside the influence of industrial humankind. Some interpret “intact” to mean absent the influence of people, but people have lived within forests the world over for millennia and we are only beginning to understand how they have – and continue to – influence them. A recent article in Science reviews plant domestication practices by pre-Columbian peoples in the Amazon, concluding that they continue to influence the composition of the forest we know today. Of the roughly 16,000 woody species the Science researchers identified within the Amazon forest, a mere 227 account for more than half of the total number of trees in the Amazon, a disproportionality that the authors refer to as “hyper-dominant.” Pre-Columbian peoples domesticated roughly 10 percent of these 227 hyper-dominant species to some degree, and according to archaeological evidence, distributed them across the Amazon basin. They thus changed forest composition by enriching the forest with useful species and creating new landscapes for domesticated plants.

Construction of first border wall segment to begin in November along Rio Grande

U.S. Customs and Border Protection will begin constructing the first segment of President Trump's border wall in November through a national wildlife refuge, using money it's already received from Congress. That's what a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service official recently told a nonprofit group that raises money to support two national wildlife refuges in South Texas, according to the group's vice president. “I was alarmed,” said Jim Chapman of Friends of the Wildlife Corridor. “It was not good news.”
For the past six months, CBP has been quietly preparing a site to build a nearly 3-mile border barrier through the Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge, according to The Texas Observer. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers also has reportedly begun drilling and soil testing in California and New Mexico.

Contractor With Financial Issues Blew Past Budget and Deadline on Encanto Elementary Project

Encanto Elementary needed a lot of work. And last month, the San Diego Unified School District wrapped up the school's comprehensive upgrade, replacing windows, retrofitting for air conditioning, updating the building for disability and accessibility compliance and planting trees to add shade on the playground. In the end, the project cost the district more than $2.5 million over its original $8.6 million contract and finished more than a year past its scheduled completion date. That unforeseen 30 percent cost increase in the project is an extreme outlier among the district's construction projects. But the contractor responsible for the project has another big job with the district at Crawford High, and that one is on the cusp of reaching its budget, too.

Controversial but undeniable: Public-private synergy has transformed Downtown East

Peter Callaghan

When asked to talk about all the development completed, under way or planned in the part of Minneapolis boosters call East Town, longtime developer George Sherman begins with a story about how much the present differs from the past.It was 30 years ago, Sherman says, when Burlington Northern, through its real estate subsidiary Glacier Park Company, was trying to unload 100 acres of land on the west bank of the Mississippi River. It stretched from what is now the Guthrie Theater to the Plymouth Avenue Bridge.The price tag? $21 million. But when Sherman tried to persuade the city to buy it he said he had several City Council members reply, “Who'd want to live on the riverfront?” It was voted down. Sherman said he bought the 15 acres he could afford, and over time the area has been redeveloped for condos, apartments and hotels.But Sherman said the development always stopped at Washington Avenue.“We saw almost nothing hop over the avenue,” Sherman said last week during a Minneapolis-sponsored event to brag a little about what has happened in the last four years.

Controversial criminal interrogation technique suspected of producing false confessions under fire

This story was produced by the Iowa Center for Public Affairs, a non-profit, online news Website that collaborates with Iowa news organizations to produce explanatory and investigative reporting. As she voluntarily entered the police interrogation room in Moline, Illinois, four years ago, Dorothy Varallo-Speckeen thought she was there to help solve a child-abuse case. She soon realized, however, Detective Marcella O'Brien thought she, a then-22-year-old babysitter with no criminal record, had abused the child, a felony punishable by up to 30 years imprisonment. “I'm not trying to point fingers, but I know for a fact that the injury occurred during the time when you guys were watching Brylee,” O'Brien said, referring to Varallo-Speckeen and her girlfriend and, by name, the baby they were watching. Stories from Farm Country: A curated collection of stories from other INN members on issues from or about rural or farming communities, regions or states.

Controversy continues, but Pownal chooses five projects to pursue

Pownal residents vote on possible community-oriented projects during an Empower Pownal meeting Tuesday. Photo by Jim Therrien/VTDigger
" data-medium-file="" data-large-file="" src="" alt="climate economy" srcset=" 610w, 125w, 300w, 768w, 1280w, 1920w" sizes="(max-width: 610px) 100vw, 610px" data-recalc-dims="1">Pownal residents vote on possible community-oriented projects during an Empower Pownal meeting Tuesday. Photo by Jim Therrien/VTDiggerPOWNAL — About 120 town residents whittled down a list of proposed community-oriented projects from 16 to five, but not before critics of the Vermont Council on Rural Development-led initiative continued to press their objections. That included attempts to re-argue points debated in the media and elsewhere over the past month, leading to a few flurries of raised voices from both supporters and opponents, and finally an apparent attempt to “stuff the ballot box,” so to speak, when some 30 unofficial “dot voting” stickers were discovered among the official stickers passed out to participants. “Despite the opposition group's efforts to obstruct the Empower Pownal meetings by spreading misinformation and fear about the program, ultimately their message was not as powerful as the hope and goodwill between neighbors that came out of last night's meeting,” Shannon Barsotti, a Planning Commission member and chairwoman of the effort, said after the three-hour session Tuesday.

Conversion of motel to housing for homeless is complete

Kevin Donnelly, of the Champlain Housing Trust, in the kitchen of a unit at the new Bel Aire Apartments in Burlington. Photo by Emily Greenberg/VTDigger
" data-medium-file="" data-large-file="" src="" alt="homeless housing" srcset=" 610w, 125w, 300w, 768w, 1600w, 1280w" sizes="(max-width: 610px) 100vw, 610px" data-recalc-dims="1">Chris Donnelly, of the Champlain Housing Trust, in the kitchen of a unit at the new Bel Aire Apartments in Burlington. Photo by Emily Greenberg/VTDiggerBURLINGTON — The former Bel Aire Motel on Shelburne Road reopened its doors Wednesday as an apartment complex for chronically homeless people with significant health needs. The Bel Aire Apartments were developed by the Champlain Housing Trust, a nonprofit aimed at creating and preserving affordable housing in Burlington, and funded with excess revenue the University of Vermont Medical Center made in 2015. The medical center paid $1.6 million to purchase and renovate the property and will provide ongoing medical outreach to residents.

Convicts celebrate a graduation amid looming challenges for correctional system

RAWLINS — Thirteen men in orange jumpsuits are escorted into a room. For the next hour, they'll hide those jumpsuits beneath black gowns and black tasseled caps, and participate in a ritual many of them chose to skip in past lives. It's graduation day at the Wyoming State Penitentiary
There is the song — Pomp and Circumstance, of course. There are nervous speakers selected from the graduating class, and an invited guest who gives a polished commencement address on the opportunities provided by education. There is Brenda Mattson, the mother in the crowd who cries from the moment her son sits down until the ceremony's conclusion, when Cole Mattson clutches a rolled-up diploma in one hand.

Cook County Prosecutor: Judge Ford improperly held pregnant woman in custody

A top county prosecutor angrily insisted in court this week that Cook County Circuit Judge Nicholas Ford had improperly ordered a pregnant woman jailed without bail in June for more than a month this summer on a non-violent offense. The dispute between Cook County First Assistant State's Attorney Eric Sussman and Ford erupted in harsh tones as reporters from a number of news organizations including Injustice Watch observed. The hearing was the first since Ford ordered Padilla held in June; at the hearing Monday she appeared in court with a three-week daughter, born in custody, strapped to her chest. Padilla was taken into custody in June on an outstanding arrest warrant that was discovered by an officer who pulled her over on a traffic violation. The original arrest involved charges Padilla had taken customers's money while working in a restaurant.

Cook On: Flavors and Flair

Empanadas finished with Pisco SourCook On: Flavors and Flair was first posted on August 9, 2017 at 8:45 am.

Cooking With Cannabis

I wandered over to a recent “cooking with cannabis” course hosted by Westville's Women Grow CT to learn how to make some summer-themed edibles: lemonades, barbecue sauce, and the classic medley of baked goods. What I got was a glimpse into a budding industry.

Cooper Takes Aim at Chemours, GenX, Other Chemicals

By Catherine Clabby
Gov. Roy Cooper has vowed to stop the Chemours Company from releasing the unregulated chemical, GenX, into the Cape Fear River. And his administration will review whether previous releases merit a criminal investigation. At a press conference in Wilmington on Monday, Cooper also said he will seek funds from the legislature, possibly some $3 million, to create a new environmental program to identify and assess risks posed by other unregulated compounds that industries discharge into protected waters throughout North Carolina. In recent years, university and federal scientists have led the charge in this state to find and raise alarms about such chemicals, including GenX and 1,4 dioxane. Each compound may be hazardous to people exposed to them at certain concentrations over long periods of time.

Cop, Suspect Hop Eight Fences

A 25-year-old alleged burglar and stalker proved good at jumping fences. So did Officer Joshua Castellano.

Cornyn files bill to fund parts of wall, increase Border Patrol and ICE agents

United States Sen. John Cornyn on Wednesday unveiled a $15 billion border-security bill that calls for a combination of technology and barriers on the southern border and looks to get tougher on “sanctuary” jurisdictions that don't enforce federal immigration laws. During a news conference with reporters, Cornyn, R-Texas, tried to strike a balance between efforts championed by border hawks who support President Trump's plan to build a wall along the border and the more measured proposals embraced by his border constituents. He stressed that his bill, which would also fund infrastructure improvements at the country's ports of entry to facilitate trade, would require the Department of Homeland Security to engage local officials about the federal government's plans. “Border security is not a one-size-fits-all proposition,” he said. “Each segment of the border is dramatically different.”
The bill, called Building America's Trust Act and co-sponsored by U.S. Sens.

Cory Gardner finally held an in-person town hall. Here’s what happened.

“Senator, you suck!” “Party hack!”
Those were just a few of the epithets hurled at Republican U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner during his first in-person town hall in more than a year, held on the campus of Pikes Peak Community College in Colorado Springs. For more than an hour, Gardner took questions from a largely hostile crowd of hundreds about health care, climate change, North Korea, hate groups, money in politics and even whether legal marijuana users should be able to own guns. The first-term senator from Yuma who is up for re-election in 2020 opened with the recent racist violence in Charlottesville, Virginia. Over the weekend, he was among the first Republicans in Congress to demand that President Trump issue a stronger condemnation of the white supremacists who marched on the University of Virginia's campus. “I don't know about you but I think it's about time that asses with Nazi flags go back to their hole,” Gardner said during Tuesday morning's town hall.

Could a Vaccine Prevent Alzheimer’s? Some Researchers Think So

Photo: In this 2013 photo, a researcher holds a human brain at Northwestern University's cognitive neurology and Alzheimer's disease center in Chicago. (Scott Eisen/CP)SAN FRANCISCO — Could Alzheimer's disease be prevented one day with a vaccine?That is the tantalizing promise of a body of scientific research that points to microbes, including the ubiquitous herpes virus, as a possible cause of the disease.The link between microbes and Alzheimer's could pave the way for eventual treatments or a cure, something that continues to elude the medical world at a time when there is growing concern about skyrocketing rates of the disease.Age Field's World CongressSome of the leading researchers into the connection between infections and Alzheimer's, known as the pathogen theory, were in San Francisco at the World Congress of Gerontology and Geriatrics in late July — the largest gathering yet of scientists in the aging field — to talk about their work.Those studying the microbe-Alzheimer's connection have long fought skepticism. Their work bumps against the dominant theory that Alzheimer's disease is caused by the accumulation of plaque-forming beta-amyloid and tangles in the brain.Researchers studying the microbe link believe those are downstream effects, either caused by infection, or the body's immune response, and not the disease's root cause.Researchers took a dramatic step last year in an effort to get more support for their work. Thirty-one Alzheimer's researchers from around the world made a plea for more focus on the microbe-Alzheimer's connection. Their editorial in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease urged the science world, in a controversial editorial, to change its focus when it comes to the disease.

Council Budgets for More Street Repair in Underserved Districts

Most City Council members said Tuesday that the proposed budget for infrastructure and transportation improvements for fiscal year 2018 could provide equity among all 10 Council districts. City officials have used the term “equity lens” frequently in the new budget planning cycle. Using equity as a guiding principle would mean allocating more resources to the districts with the […]
The post Council Budgets for More Street Repair in Underserved Districts appeared first on Rivard Report.

Council Member Back on Ballot

Dutchess judge rejects petition challengeCouncil Member Back on Ballot was first posted on August 11, 2017 at 10:00 am.

Council Rejects Historic District in Tobin Hill

The proposed district would have encompassed less than 14 acres, mostly along a stretch of East Mistletoe Avenue between McCullough Avenue and Kings Court. The post Council Rejects Historic District in Tobin Hill appeared first on Rivard Report.

County mayors: Prop P funds should be funneled to high-crime areas, not high population

Some of St. Louis County's mayors say money from a recently enacted sales tax increase may not make the region safer — especially because cities with high crime rates aren't necessarily getting the most money. The half-cent sales tax, which takes effect later fall and is widely known as Proposition P, was billed as to be used on public safety. The breakdown of the money gives about $46 million a year to the St. Louis County Police Department, with roughly $34 million from the tax will be split among the county's 89 municipalities.

County rejects $290K for law firm, sends notice of default concerning solar project

Board of Supervisors lowers payout to lawyer to $60K while sending Con Edison a notice of default on the Panoche Valley Solar Project

County Releases Statement on Sheriff Settlement

After public backlash over settlement, notes it can't fire elected sheriffCounty Releases Statement on Sheriff Settlement was first posted on August 4, 2017 at 8:48 pm.

County Responds to Concern Over Herbicides

Says it will investigate alternatives for spraying near brookCounty Responds to Concern Over Herbicides was first posted on August 11, 2017 at 9:17 am.

Court Making Tough Call on Health Insurance

The Supreme Court could wipe away health insurance for millions of Americans when it resolves the latest fight over President Barack Obama's health overhaul. But would the court take away a benefit from so many people? Should the justices even consider such consequences?

Court security workers say whistleblowing caused firing

The U.S. District Court for the District of Vermont in Burlington. File photo by Elizabeth Hewitt/VTDiggerDuane Dingler has had a tough time finding work in the two years since he lost his job working security at the federal building in Burlington. “Once your name is associated with whistleblower, it's very problematic,” Dingler said. In a lawsuit filed in federal court last month — in the same building where they worked for a collective 36 years — Dingler and his former co-worker James Dempsey say they were fired from their jobs with a private security contractor in retaliation for reporting alleged misconduct of their former supervisor. The two men initially reported their case to the office of the inspector general for the Department of Justice.

Court Sides with District Employee Who Balked at Order to Purge Emails

A fired school district IT director who objected to orders to wipe out the email archive system was rightfully awarded over $1 million by a jury in 2015, an appellate court decided this month. Elaine Allyn accused the Fallbrook Union Elementary School District of wrongful termination in 2012, and a jury unanimously awarded her $1.05 million for lost income and $148,000 in damages in 2015. “Obviously, I am happy with the outcome of the appellate court. I think that it vindicates me,” said Allyn, who has spent the last couple years working for a private company. “I just really hope that the district lets this be the end and that they accept the outcome and we can move on with our lives… I am shocked it has been five and a half years.

Court Sides With District Employee Who Balked at Order to Purge Emails

A fired school district IT director who objected to orders to wipe out the email archive system was rightfully awarded over $1 million by a jury in 2015, an appellate court decided this month. Elaine Allyn accused the Fallbrook Union Elementary School District of wrongful termination in 2012, and a jury unanimously awarded her $1.05 million for lost income and $148,000 in damages in 2015. “Obviously, I am happy with the outcome of the appellate court. I think that it vindicates me,” said Allyn, who has spent the last couple years working for a private company. “I just really hope that the district lets this be the end and that they accept the outcome and we can move on with our lives.

CoverageCo aids South Woodstock in cell service

News Release — CoverageCo
July 25, 2017
South Woodstock Has Expanded 911 and Cell Service Thanks to New Technology from CoverageCo
July, 2017 – South Woodstock, VT – This past week, cell service officially arrived in downtown South Woodstock. Thanks to new microcell technology being piloted in Vermont by CoverageCo, people along Rt 106 near Kedron Valley Stables can now use cell phones to talk, text, and access 911 services. CoverageCo founder Vanu Bose said, “When we set out to prove that innovative partnerships and new technology could solve the challenge of rural cell coverage, we knew we needed a state willing to try something different. Vermont has proven to be a great state for our microcell pilot project, and I'm happy that from South Woodstock to Canaan, we're seeing real success.”
CoverageCo installs and maintains microcell devices, called “radios,” mounted on poles or buildings that use very little energy and provide cell service in a half mile radius. The radios work with Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint customers, though AT&T has decided not to participate.

Covered Wagon Camping at the State Fair

Over $3000 in premiums
Cashmere goats
Over 1600 entries
It was the Iowa State Fair of 1860 — the seventh ever held. The state was young — only 14 years old. The American Civil War had not yet started in 1860. The capital had only recently been moved to Des Moines from Iowa City. The population of the state was not quite 700,000.

Crab, Kids, Shad and Shiners

Fish count at Little Stony Point one of 18 along riverCrab, Kids, Shad and Shiners was first posted on August 13, 2017 at 9:15 am.

Crime Victim Priorities Differ From Trump’s

More than 800 crime victims surveyed by the Alliance for Safety and Justice, which favors criminal justice reform, supported priorities very different from President Trump's, the New York Times reports. About three in four said they were happy with their local police and law enforcement in general. About one-third held positive views of Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Asked to name two things that contributed most to crime in their communities, just 12 percent of victims blamed undocumented immigrants. Almost nobody thought there were too few people in prison.

Critically endangered staghorn corals are benefiting from coral gardening in the Caribbean

It's not just the Great Barrier Reef — coral reefs around the globe are in decline due to climate change, ocean pollution, and a number of other impacts of human activities on marine environments. But new research finds that “coral gardening,” which involves planting fragments of nursery-raised coral on reefs in the wild to replenish depleted coral colonies, is playing a key role in the restoration of staghorn coral reef systems in the Caribbean — and might just help inform strategies to ensure the long-term survival of the world's coral reefs in the future. A study published in the journal Coral Reefs in June looks at how successful restoration efforts have been at several sites in Florida and Puerto Rico over the first two years of a staghorn coral (Acropora cervicornis) gardening program. The researchers behind the study — a team led by scientists with the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science at the University of Miami (UM) — say they found that current restoration methods do not cause excessive damage to donor colonies (from which coral tissue is taken and propagated in a nursery), and that once the coral fragments are planted back out in the wild, known as being “outplanted,” they behave just like wild colonies. Particularly susceptible to bleaching, staghorn coral populations have declined more than 80 percent over the past 30 years due to higher incidence of disease and the impacts of global warming, especially higher ocean temperatures and ocean acidification, according to the International…

Critics question Brattleboro homeless shelter move

The Winston Prouty campus taken by the Reformer Drone.Kristopher Radder – Brattleboro ReformerBRATTLEBORO – Is a bucolic, 177-acre hillside campus a good place for a wintertime homeless shelter? That was a recurring question at a community meeting Wednesday night, as some residents balked at plans to move Brattleboro's seasonal overflow shelter from its longtime downtown home to the Winston Prouty campus a few miles away. The big concern is whether shelter administrators can maintain safety and security on a property that hosts several schools and other nonprofits. “There's no debate that this (shelter) is good work,” said Kimberley Diemond, executive director of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Vermont, a campus tenant. “The question is, why is it coming here?”
In response, shelter advocates detailed their plans to run a tight ship.

CT ‘Dreamers’ march on White House seeking protection from deportation

WASHINGTON – Dozens of immigrant youth from Connecticut and their allies marched on the White House Tuesday hoping to persuade President Trump to continue a program that shields them from deportation. The clock is ticking on the fate of these "Dreamers," because a group of GOP attorneys general are threatening to sue to stop the program.

CT business group: Trump focus on skilled immigrants right, but limits wrong

WASHINGTON — President Trump has embraced a bill that would drastically cut legal immigration to the United States, but it has drawn criticism from labor, business and immigrant advocates who say it would hurt Connecticut's economy. The legislation has little chance of congressional approval, but has opened a new front in the debate over immigration.

CT House debating union concessions deal

The Democrat-controlled House of Representatives Monday evening was debating the state employees' concessions deal that is expected to save as much as $1.57 billion this fiscal year and next combined. The concessions package, which workers ratified earlier this month, tentatively is scheduled to go before the Senate on March 31.

CT job totals slip by 600 in July

Connecticut lost 600 jobs in July while the state's unemployment rate remained stable at 5 percent, the Department of Labor reported Thursday.

CT Republicans fault Trump’s mixed message on hate groups

Connecticut Republicans unequivocally denounce the torch-wielding white supremacists and neo-Nazis who marched in Charlottesville, Va., while their criticism of President Trump's insistence he saw “blame on both sides” of the violent protests and counter-protests was more muted.

CTE victim Willie Daniel’s friends, doctors want to save football and its players

Daniel familyDon Edwards, left, visits with Willie Daniel from January 2015. Willie Daniel and Don Edwards were as close as friends can be. As younger men, they worked out to prepare for football together. In middle age, they golfed together, lunched together and sat on the same pew every Sunday morning in church. They loved one another.

Culture Report: A New Leader — and New Concerns — at San Diego Art Institute

The San Diego Art Institute has a new leader at the helm. Jacqueline Silverman will step in as executive director of the Balboa Park institution, taking the place of Ginger Shulick Porcella. Porcella is credited with successfully turning the San Diego Art Institute into a key player in the local art scene. Not everyone liked the changes Porcella made, but those who did became passionate supporters who want to see the institute continue down its path of becoming a well-regarded contemporary art museum that showcases cutting-edge art with a focus on artists living in San Diego and Tijuana. In a press release about the new appointment, Silverman made sure to signal to those supporters that she'd be carrying Porcella's torch.

Culture Report: Big Problems at The Glashaus Art Space in Barrio Logan

A popular art space in Barrio Logan is kicking out its resident artists at the end of the month. San Diego fire marshal inspectors and city code enforcement last year found safety problems and code violations at The Glashaus, which houses several art studios and a gallery. City and fire officials told Matt Devine, the artist who holds the master lease at Glashaus, that the venue could no longer host public events due to fire safety concerns. La Bodega Gallery in Barrio Logan was also told it had to cap its capacity until it made required safety upgrades. The crackdown came just weeks after the Ghost Ship warehouse fire in Oakland that killed 36 people, some of them artists who lived or worked in the space.

Culture Report: Inside the Mingei’s Plans to Open Up

In the future, entrance into the ground floor of the Mingei International Museum will be free. The Balboa Park institution has embarked on its radical plans for a transformation. The $15 million project goes well beyond a cosmetic redesign. The San Diego firm LUCE et Studio Architects is working with Mingei leaders on the effort, and the firm's principal Jennifer Luce said the goal is to make the museum more welcoming and accessible to a wider audience. The museum shows folk art, craft and design, and Luce said the transformation will better reflect that.

Culture Report: New Food Vendors Get Their Feet Wet in City Heights

New business is popping up on an empty lot in City Heights. The Fair@44 pop-up food market on the corner of El Cajon Boulevard and 44th Street launched last year. Part of the plan was to have the outdoor market serve as a launchpad for new food vendors. It took some time, but the international market, which happens every Wednesday and some Saturday evenings, is now home to a handful of first-time food vendors. Jardel Silva is the owner of Gaucho Grilling and Bonfim Seafood, a tent at Fair@44 that sells street-style Brazilian food and is known for its fish stew and grilled meat, like skewers of charred chicken hearts.

Cunningham: You can be Nazi or you can be American. You can’t be both

From Councilman Paul Cunningham: "You can be Nazi or you can be American. You can't be both. The endorsement of any form or portion of Nazi ideologies is a betrayal of American values. As Americans, we have the responsibility of being aware who we stand shoulder to shoulder with."

Curious Case of the Missing Comments: In the end, Ford site moved forward despite feedback glitch

Peter Callaghan

Opponents of a St. Paul plan to redevelop the land where Ford built cars and trucks for 84 years didn't prevail in a city planning commission vote last week.The plan they vigorously — and at times tearfully — oppose passed unanimously. It now moves to the City Council, which will conduct its own process complete with public testimony in the fall.That doesn't mean opponents centered in the neighboring Highland Village neighborhood weren't on the minds of commissioners and city planning staffers. They spent much of Friday's meeting explaining the causes of what has become a raging conspiracy theory as well as going through the top complaints from opponents — that the plan is too dense and too tall and produces too many people and cars.Few changes were made to the plan, however. And those that were came primarily from staff and commissioners, not opponents.The latest controversy might be called the Curious Case of the Missing Comments.

Cut & Paste: A former drama kid pays tribute to his hunter-father with theater and taxidermy

Who among us hasn't grappled with building a relationship with our parents? Matthew Kerns, director of the St. Lou Fringe festival of performing arts, struggled to bond with a father who was very different from him. Kerns was a gay theater kid; his dad was a stereotypically “manly” man who drove a truck and hunted deer. (You can view a family photo in the slideshow, above.) In our latest Cut & Paste podcast , we talk with Kerns about how theater helped him better understand his dad and forge a better relationship with him.

Cut & Paste: Theater couple professes more delight than drama in managing marriage and kids

This has been a super-crazy week for St. Louis theater professional and mom Christina Rios. One of her three younger children started kindergarten. Her teenager entered her junior year of high school. And her theater company R-S Theatrics geared up to open its largest-ever production: “In the Heights.” In our latest Cut & Paste podcast , we talk with Rios and her husband, Mark Kelly — who's an actor with a day job at Washington University — about how they make it all work.

Cycletrack Gets Green Light

City traffic commissioners gave the green light Tuesday night for the proposed west side two-way bike track along Edgewood Avenue, clearing the way for the $1.2 million largely state-funded dedicated cycletrack to become, after years of planning and community meetings, a reality.

D. Tyrone Silmon

Birmingham City Board of Education, District 8
Donald Tyrone Silmon
Age: 47
Political experience: First campaign for elected office. Professional experience: Executive assistant to Mayor William Bell. Civic experience: Member, Birmingham Public Library Board, 2016-present; member, 2016-2017 class of Leadership Birmingham; founder, Dads on Duty mentoring group, Birmingham City Schools; coach, Amateur Athletics Union boys' basketball. Education: Texas Southern University, bachelor's degree in telecommunications and marketing, 1992; associate's degrees in pre-law, psychology and health education, Lawson State Community College; graduated from Woodlawn High. Top contributors: Gene Hallman, $1,000; Monumental Contracting, $300; Darryln Bender, $300; Marinos Market, $250.

Daagye Hendricks

Birmingham City Board of Education, District 4
Daagye Hendricks
Age: 41
Residence: Norwood
Political experience: Birmingham Board of Education, District 4, 2013-present. Professional experience: Wee Care Academy Inc., vice president of operations and licensed educator, 1999-2005; Birmingham Airport Authority- Disadvantaged Business Enterprise liaison and parking manager, 2003-2012; Wee Manage Inc./Harambe Inc., vice president of operations and licensed educator, 2012-2016; UAB Medicine, patient navigator, 2016-present. Civic experience: Leadership Birmingham, class of 2017; Birmingham Chapter of Links, 2001-present; Junior League of Birmingham, 2001; Urban League Young Professionals, executive board member, 1999; junior board member, Alys Stephens Center, 2001-2003; founding member, Minority Parking Association, 2005. Education: Clark Atlanta University, bachelor's degree in finance, 1996; University of Alabama, executive MBA program, current. Main issues: Increase career technical opportunities; grow 1-1 technical initiative; improve academics in all schools.

Daily Stormer lands Burlington on hate map

BURLINGTON — The Queen City is listed on the Southern Poverty Law Center hate map, which tracks the presence of hate groups in the United States. A Southern Poverty Law Center website says the map is compiled using “hate group publications and websites, citizen and law enforcement reports, field sources and news reports.” The center lists 917 such groups nationwide. The SPLC defines a hate group as having “beliefs or practices that attack or malign an entire class of people, typically for their immutable characteristics.” The activities of the groups range from “criminal acts, marches, rallies, speeches, meetings, leafleting or publishing.”
Southern Poverty Law Center hate map.Burlington appears on the map emblazoned with a swastika, indicating the presence of a neo-Nazi website, the Daily Stormer. The website, started by Andrew Anglin in 2013, is known for publishing hate speech. Last year Anglin began encouraging users to start local “book groups” to help organize followers and help them connect offline.

Dance and Music

Two performances at AtlasDance and Music was first posted on July 26, 2017 at 7:54 am.

Dangerous Pollutants in Military’s Open Burns Greater Than Thought, Tests Indicate

by Abrahm Lustgarten

The federal government appears to have significantly underestimated the amount of lead, arsenic and other dangerous pollutants that are sent into the air from uncontrolled burning of hazardous waste at the Radford Army Ammunition Plant in Virginia, according to a draft of a long-awaited report compiled by researchers at the Environmental Protection Agency. The report details results from air sampling done last September and October at the Radford plant above an open field where piles of waste from the manufacture of weapons explosives are set afire daily. The plumes drift directly towards an elementary school and residents a little more than a mile away, but the Army and regulators have long maintained that the pollution level is safe, based on its computer-modeled estimates. Now, it turns out, some of those estimates were wrong. The data shows that five substances were found at levels greater than the EPA's models had predicted, meaning that previous health-risk analyses completed by regulators for the burns at Radford did not fully take into account the potential exposure of the surrounding population.

Darrell O’Quinn

Birmingham City Council, District 5
Darrell OQuinn
Name: Darrell O'Quinn
Age: 45
Residence: Crestwood
Political experience: None
Professional experience: Senior Clinical Veterinarian Animal Resources Program, University of Alabama at Birmingham, currently; executive director, Move I-20/59, Inc.; research associate, UAB School of Medicine, Department of Pathology
Civic experience: President, City of Birmingham Citizens' Advisory Board; president, Crestwood North Neighborhood Association; member, City of Birmingham Comprehensive Plan Implementation Committee; member, City of Birmingham Bicentennial Committee; member, City of Birmingham Gentrification Task Force; member, UAB/BBA Innovate Birmingham Community Engagement Work Group; member, UAB Center for Clinical and Translational Science-One Great Community Council; board of directors, Keep Birmingham Beautiful Commission; board of directors, Deep South Cancer Foundation; co-founder, Heart to Table: A Feeding Project for the Boutwell Auditorium Winter Warming Station; member, City of Birmingham Safer People, Safer Streets/Bicycling Friendly Community Task Force
Education: University of Alabama at Birmingham, doctor of philosophy, pathology, 2000-2005; LSU School of Veterinary Medicine, doctor of veterinary medicine, 1996-2000; Louisiana State University, bachelor's in zoology, 1990-1995. Top contributors: Chris Seagle, $2,556 in-kind contribution; Community Development, LLC, $1,000; Charles Saab, $800; Temple W. Tutwiler III in care of Tutwiler Investment Co., $500; Twentieth Street Realty in care of Tutwiler Investment Co., $500. Main issues: If elected, O'Quinn will focus on the lack of transparency at City Hall, providing greater support for addressing blight and supporting small business in neighborhoods, providing more transportation options for those who cannot afford cars, and improving educational opportunities outside of school hours. Campaign:

Darren Wilson grand juror to ask Missouri appeals court for the right to speak

A grand juror who was on the panel that didn't charge ex-Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in the death of Michael Brown in 2014 on Wednesday will ask a second time for permission to speak about the experience. The juror, who swore to secrecy, wants to publicly contradict statements made by St. Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch about the way the grand jury did its job. Attorneys at the American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri said the importance of “correcting misinformation” outweighs state law making grand juries secret.

Data in a Crisis

Amy Maxmen, Neil BrandvoldIn the chaos of crisis and human displacement, aid organizations struggle to track, analyze and respond to information fast enough to provide help. Tech and data science is providing a solution.

Data Journalism’s Top Ten

What's the global data journalism community tweeting about this week? Our NodeXL #ddj mapping from July 31 to August 6 has @nytimes charting increasingly hot summers, @qz on Wannacry ransomware hackers cashing out their ill-gotten gains, and @tagesanzeiger mapping lightning prone areas in Switzerland. Hot, Hotter, Extremely Hot
Climate scientist James Hansen and his team looked at summer temperatures over several decades. They found that summer temps have shifted drastically since 1980, with a new category — extremely hot — created. Hotter and hotter summers, extremely hot
— Paul Banks (@PaulBanks84) August 1, 2017

WannaCry Hackers Cash Out
The WannaCry ransomware attack infected computers across the globe, encrypting their files and charging their owners $300 to $600 for the keys to get them back.

Data Journalism’s Top Ten

What's the global data journalism community tweeting about this week? Our NodeXL #ddj mapping from August 7 to 13 has @UpshotNYT plotting Game of Thrones characters in two dimensions, @paulbradshaw offering 10 principles for data journalism and data journalists at a @dagstuhl workshop with narrative patterns for data-driven storytelling. The Good, Evil, Ugly and Beautiful of Game of Thrones
Upshot NYT wants your help to plot the characters in Game of Thrones in two dimensions. Assess their overall goodness and their external beauty. A great digital product from @UpshotNYT that has wider use beyond #GoT … e.g., feature prioritization for teams
— peter bray (@petebray) August 14, 2017

Ten Principles for Data Journalism
Paul Bradshaw attempts to use Bill Kovach's and Tom Rosenstiel's journalism principles as the basis for a set of 10 principles for (modern) data journalism.

Data Journalism’s Top Ten

What's the global data journalism community tweeting about this week? Our NodeXL #ddj mapping from July 24 to 30 has @qz comparing the cost of Trump's golf trips to transgender healthcare, the @SchoolOfData assessing the value of data literacy events, @visualisingdata sharing a chart-making directory and graphics guru @EdwardTufte applying Ezra Pound's 23 “don'ts” for writing poetry to design. Trump's Golf Trips vs. Trans-Soldier Healthcare
Quartz pointed out a flaw in the conservative argument that letting transgenders serve in the military was a tremendous medical cost burden and disruption. It highlighted that Trumps's six months of Mar-a-Lago trips is likely to cost more than a year of U.S. military transgender health care.

David Crawford joins PC Construction board of directors; Bruce Lisman elected board chair

News Release — PC Construction
August 16, 2017
Dennise R. Casey
PC Construction
South Burlington, VT – PC Construction, among the nation's largest employee-owned construction companies is pleased to welcome David Crawford to the company's board of directors. A Phoenix, Arizona resident, Crawford brings 48 years' experience with Sundt Construction, where he served as chief executive officer for eight years and lead the company through a transition to employee-ownership. “It is a pleasure to welcome David to our board of directors,” said McCarthy. “David brings an innate understanding of our industry and his experience leading an employee-owned construction company parallels so many of the challenges and opportunities we face at PC Construction.”
The company also announced Bruce Lisman's election as Chairman of the Board. Lisman is a Vermont native and Shelburne resident who has served on the Board for four years.

David Deen: Shortnosed sturgeon and other threatened species

Editor's note: This commentary is by David Deen, who is an honorary trustee and former river steward of the Connecticut River Conservancy, formerly the Connecticut River Watershed Council. He is a state representative from Westminster and the chair of the House Natural Resources, Fish and Wildlife Committee. Recent research is warning that the rapid loss of wildlife in recent decades shows the sixth mass extinction in Earth's history is underway. In the face of this warning of the sixth great extinction over the past 400 million years of Earth's history, it is important to note that the Connecticut River watershed is the home range for five different threatened or endangered species that rely on healthy clean water. The species are the dwarf wedgemussel, puritan tiger beetle, northeastern bulrush, Jessup's milk vetch and the shortnose sturgeon.

David Russell

Birmingham City Council, District 9
David Russell
David Russell
Residence: Smithfield Estates
Political experience: Member, Jefferson County and Alabama Democratic Executive Committee; member, Birmingham Water Works committee on rates; volunteer, voter registration drives. Professional experience: Administrative assistant at Alabama State University, 15 years; work in the insurance field. Civic experience: President, Neighborhood Block Watch in Smithfield Estates; parade grand marshal, Erskine Hawkins Function at the Junction parade; volunteer, Function at the Junction music events; volunteer, Birmingham Civil Rights Institute. Education: Alabama State University, bachelor's degree in business and economics. Top contributors: J. Parker Griffith, $1,000; Helen Shores Lee, $1,000; Juliette Nelson Sullivan, $500.

David Russell: Is North Korea really the problem?

Editor's note: This commentary is by David Russell, of Perkinsville, who is retired renewable energy and securities consultant and whose writing appears in venues including the The Hill and Huffington Post. Military analysts surmise that North Korea has a small nuclear weapon it can mount on the ballistic missiles it has been testing. So the Economist runs a “what if” scenario regarding a war with North Korea and, aside from the nuclear fallout issues, projected that 300,000 people would die, but Kim Jong Un and his entire coterie of military adjuncts would be obliterated. Perhaps it was cruel to think in such a fashion, but it occurred to me that an estimated 2 million people died of famine in North Korea in the 1990s as a result of erratic government farming policies and the absence of infrastructure for floods, 500,000 Syrians are dead for failure of the civilized part of the world to address the humanitarian issues of its leadership, over 400,000 have died so far in the Sudanese conflict, and less than 20 years ago over 800,000 died in the Rwanda genocide. Three hundred thousand casualties don't sound so bad if it were to eliminate a real threat.

David Russell: So goes ‘The Donald’

Editor's note: This commentary is by David Russell, of Perkinsville, who is retired renewable energy and securities consultant and whose writing appears in venues including the The Hill and Huffington Post. From the very beginning of this populist era of Donald Trump we have been convinced that understanding “The Donald” was all about narcissism and money. The question was how long it would take for the world and Republicans to wake up to this conviction and what would happen when the awakening came. We are beginning to see how that all plays out. For those of us steeped in business it is easy to see when someone has been “bought.” By bought it is meant the point where appeasing the source of financial support overrides all sense of principle or decency.

David T. McKinney

Birmingham Board of Education District 5
David T. McKinney
David T. McKinney
Age: 34
Residence: Downtown Birmingham
Political experience: None
Professional experience: Taught communication courses at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, 2007 to 2009, Miles College 2009 to 2013 and at Jefferson State Community College 2009 to present. Civic experience: National Education Association and the Alabama Education Association. Education: Central High School, Coosa County, 2001; Central Alabama Community College, 2001 to 2003, associate's; Troy University, 2003 to 2005, bachelor's degree in journalism; University of Alabama at Birmingham, 2006 to 2008, master's in communication management; University of Alabama, 2014 to 2016, educational specialist degree in instructional technology; University of Alabama, working toward Ph.D. in educational leadership. Top contributors: None reported. Main issues: McKinney said that, if elected, he would push for policies that would keep the schools safe and support teachers.

Day Trip: Lake Taghkanic State Park

Beautiful hikes, comfort food, bourbon and some zipDay Trip: Lake Taghkanic State Park was first posted on August 8, 2017 at 9:25 am.

Dayton denounces mosque bombing as ‘act of terrorism’

Brian Lambert

Karen Brulliard and Amy Wang of The Washington Post report: “Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton denounced an explosion that rocked a Minneapolis-area mosque during morning prayers Saturday as a ‘wretched' hate crime and act of terrorism. … If the attack was motivated by anti-Muslim bias, it would represent ‘another in a long list of hate incidents targeting Islamic institutions nationwide in recent months,' CAIR-MN civil rights director Amir Malik said. CAIR said in a report last month that anti-Muslim hate crimes in the United States nearly doubled in the first half of this year over the same period in 2016. At least 35 anti-mosque acts — including vandalism and arson — were reported during the first three months of this year, the organization has said.”For the AP, Jeff Baenen says: “The Dar Al-Farooq Islamic Center in suburban Minneapolis, like other U.S. mosques, occasionally receives threatening calls and emails. But leaders say they're more frightened after a weekend attack in which an explosive shattered windows and damaged a room as worshippers prepared for morning prayers.

De Blasio & his Donors, the City & its Subways: Campaign Newswire for July 24

“Do you not help somebody because they're a donor? … If there's a problem with the bureaucracy and you can make the bureaucracy work, you do it, whoever asks.”
-Henry Berger, the mayor's special counsel, in an interview with The New York Times. Mayor's Advocacy on Behalf of Donor Still Raises QuestionsNew York Times
Less than six months after Bill de Blasio became mayor of New York City, a campaign donor buttonholed him at an event in Manhattan. The donor, Harendra Singh, one of the earliest contributors to his mayoral campaign, ran a restaurant on city property and was having problems with the lease. Could the mayor help him?

De Blasio Holds Harlem Town Hall & More: Schedule for Wednesday August 2

11:00 a.m. – Mayor Bill De Blasio delivers remarks at the Annual New York State Financial Control Board Meeting. So does Comptroller Scott Stringer. The open-press event will take place at the New York State Governor's Office, 633 3rd Avenue Floor 38, Manhattan. 11:00 a.m. – Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul and Secretary to the Governor Melissa DeRosa launch NYS Council on Women and Girls at the New York Historical Society, 170 Central Park West, Manhattan. 11:00 a.m. – The City Council Committee on Rules, Privileges and Elections meets to discuss new appointments to the Board of Standards and Appeals and the Civilian Complaint Review Board.

De Blasio Talks Faith, Congestion Pricing Gets New Look: 5 Campaign Headlines for July 31

“It's a nice idea, but it's been talked about for years, and it was very controversial and didn't go anywhere. I don't see any change in the political appetite.”-Gov. Andrew Cuomo, in June, on congestion pricing
Malliotakis Says Bail Alternatives are Hurting Public SafetyDaily News
Republican mayoral candidate Nicole Malliotakis ripped Mayor de Blasio's supervised release program, saying it is cutting loose potentially dangerous suspects. “We're letting too many people who are a threat to public safety walk the streets,” Malliotakis, a Staten Island assemblywoman and the presumptive GOP nominee for mayor, said Sunday on the John Catsimatidis AM 970 radio show. Our take: The mayor's conservative critics have shifted from predicting a crime wave because of his progressive policies to cherry-picking troubling release decisions in a city where there are hundreds of thousands of arrests a year. Why?

De Blasio’s Bigger Fight Isn’t Building Housing, but Preserving It

Ed Reed for the Office of Mayor Bill de BlasioMayor de Blasio unveils 'Housing New York': A Five-Borough, 10-Year Housing Plan to Protect and Expand Affordability in Brooklyn on Monday, May 5, 2014. Produced by City Limits in partnership with City & State
With its sky-high rents and soaring property values, it's no secret New York City struggles with affordable housing. As the city grapples with potential solutions, such as whether to rezone neighborhoods to create a mix of market-rate and “affordable” housing, or to build a partly affordable housing complex in Brooklyn Bridge Park, or to lease New York City Housing Authority land to developers who will create a mix of affordable and market-rate housing, it is important to remember this fact: Most of the housing in New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio's 200,000-unit affordable housing plan already exists. The plan includes a four-unit brownstone on West 131st Street in Manhattan and 510 Atlantic Ave., a Brooklyn high-rise with 202 apartments. It encompasses a single-family home not far from John F. Kennedy Airport in Queens, 454 units in a Staten Island building called Castleton Park Apartments, or a five-story Bronx walk-up a few steps from the cottage where Edgar Allen Poe wrote “The Bells.”
When the mayor talks about his plan “to create or preserve 200,000 units of affordable housing,” those properties are in the “preserve” part.

DEA Agents Pose as Guerrillas to Net Arms Trafficker

A man from the Ivory Coast has pleaded guilty in a New York federal court to offering support to undercover DEA agents posing as members of Colombia‘s FARC guerrilla group. The case involving Faouzi Jaber, a 61-year-old Ivorian citizen known by the alias “Excellence,” raises questions about the handling of similar operations in the future in light of the FARC‘s ongoing demobilization. Faouzi Jaber. Photo courtesy InSight Crime
Jaber pleaded guilty on July 25 to conspiring to traffic arms and drugs in support of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia – FARC) insurgency, which the United States considers a terrorist organization. According to a press release from the U.S. prosecutor's office, Jaber met multiple times with confidential sources working for the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) who were posing as members of the FARC.

DEA Boss Repudiates Trump’s ‘Rough’ Advice for Cops

The nation's top narcotics officer repudiated President Trump's remarks urging police to be rough with crime suspects, issuing a memo saying Drug Enforcement Administration agents must “always act honorably” by maintaining “the very highest standards” in the treatment of criminal suspects, reports the Wall Street Journal. Chuck Rosenberg, who as acting DEA chief works for the president, told agency personnel to disregard any suggestion that roughing up suspects would be tolerated. Rosenberg is a longtime Justice Department official who twice served as a U.S. attorney in the George W. Bush administration. “I write to offer a strong reaffirmation of the operating principles to which we, as law enforcement professionals, adhere,” Rosenberg says in the memo, titled “Who We Are.” “I write because we have an obligation to speak out when something is wrong. That's what law enforcement officers do.

Deanna “Dee” Reed

Birmingham City Council District 2
Deanna “Dee” Reed
Name: Deanna Reed
Age: 28
Residence: South Eastlake
Political Experience: None
Professional experience: Has been program coordinator for The Rickey Smiley Foundation and event manager for Bruno Event Team. Education: Bachelor's, public relations and journalism, Miles College, 2011; graduated Ramsay High School. Civic experience: Member, Birmingham Youth Advisory Council; speaks at churches and mentors young students. Top contributions: Rimtyme, $1,000; ToneDef Digital, $500 in-kind contribution; Thornton Enterprises, $250; Tiffany Samuels, $250; Randi McClain, $250. Main issues: Reed's key issues center on reducing crime, improving communication and building consensus.

Dear Oil Industry: Yes, We Really Do Hate You—Millennials

Depending on who you ask, millennials are either lazy, trophy-weaned basement dwellers or ruthlessly efficient killing machines, taking down everything from Buffalo Wild Wings to department stores. But unless you peruse the business press and semi-obscure trade publications, you may have missed the news about our latest mark: the fossil fuel industry. A handful of articles have pointed out that the workforce of the oil industry is rapidly aging, and companies are having trouble attracting younger workers into their folds. According to a recent report by pollsters EY, 57 percent of teens now see the fossil fuel industry as bad for society, and 62 percent of those aged 16 to 19 say working for oil and gas companies is unappealing. Other findings suggest that millennials dislike the oil industry the most of any potential employer, with only 2 percent of college graduates in the United States listing the oil and gas industry as their first-choice job placement.

Death toll in San Antonio immigrant-smuggling case rises to 10

The death toll from the weekend's immigrant-smuggling tragedy in San Antonio has risen to 10, and the driver in the alleged crime is scheduled to appear in a federal courtroom Monday morning. James Mathew Bradley, Jr., 60, is being held for his alleged role in the incident, in which San Antonio police found dozens of people in the back of a sweltering trailer early Sunday morning. Police initially said that 38 people were in the truck, but Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials said the actual count is 39; officers found one additional person hiding in a wooded area near the scene. Eight people were found dead and two more died later at local hospitals. All of the deceased were adult males.

Defense bill could include $1.6 billion to start border wall

Democrats are blasting a GOP plan to allocate $1.57 billion to begin construction of a border wall with Mexico, by slipping that language into a critical defense funding bill. But there appears to be little else they can do to stop the funding language.

Delegation calls on Trump to lead US out of missile showdown

Vermont's congressional delegation raised strong concerns Wednesday about President Donald Trump's threat to unleash “fire and fury” should North Korea continue to threaten to attack with a nuclear weapon. Sen. Patrick Leahy alluded to the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962, saying Trump needed to ratchet down the rhetoric and follow the example of President John F. Kennedy. Donald Trump speaks in Laconia, N.H., in July. Photo by Michael Vadon/Wikimedia Commons
" data-medium-file="" data-large-file="" src="" alt="Donald Trump" srcset=" 300w, 125w, 768w, 610w, 150w, 1024w" sizes="(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px" data-recalc-dims="1">Donald Trump speaks in Laconia, N.H., in July 2016. File photo by Michael Vadon/Wikimedia Commons“This is a time to look at what President Kennedy did and bring together the leaders of the government and (find) a way out,” Leahy said at an event celebrating the 60th anniversary of IBM/GlobalFoundries being in Vermont.

Democracy’s Timetable for August 1: National Night Out Has Pols Going Everywhere!

8:30 AM — Comptroller Scott Stringer appears live on The Weather Channel
10:00 AM — Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito speaks at The Fortune Society Youth Conference, Columbia University School of Social Work, Manhattan. 10:30 AM –Chancellor Carmen Fariña joins Mayor Bill de Blasio and Commissioner James O'Neill on a visit to a restorative justice circle at J.H.S. 88. After, they will hold a media availability to make an announcement about school safety. 544 7th Avenue, Brooklyn. 12 PM — Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis discusses “Mayor de Blasio and the financial mismanagement at the NYC Department of Education / NYC Leadership Academy.” Steps of City Hall.

Democracy’s Timetable for Monday August 7: Sal Starts a Lawsuit, the Millionaire’s Tax Announcement

10:00 a.m. – Public Advocate Letitia James holds a press conference with Councilmembers Margaret Chin and Ritchie Torres on NYCHA's failure to serve senior residents with disabilities. City Hall Steps, Manhattan. 10:30 a.m. – Mayoral candidate Sal Albanese holds a press conference with Reform Party leaders to announce the filing of a lawsuit to stop Mayor Bill De Blasio from using city taxpayer dollars to pay for $13 million in legal fees related to last year's investigations, and to call on the Campaign Finance Board to stop the release of $2 million in public funds for the reelection campaign. Outside Tweed Courthouse, 52 Chambers Street, Manhattan. 11:00 a.m. – De Blasio makes an announcement about the city's support for subways and buses.

Democracy’s Timetable: a Five-Borough Schedule for Wednesday August 9

7:00 a.m. – A taped conversation with Mayor Bill de Blasio airs on FOX5's Good Day New York sometime between 7:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m.. 10:00 a.m. – Public Advocate Letitia James delivers remarks at District Attorney Eric Gonzalez's Summons Warrants Press Conference. 120 Schermerhorn Street, 10th Floor, Brooklyn. 10:00 a.m. – The City Council Committee on Finance meets to consider bills relating to wireless communication surcharges and homeowner exemptions. Committee Room, City Hall, Manhattan.

Democracy’s Timetable: Campaign and Official Schedules for July 25

9:30 AM — Comptroller Scott Stringer delivers remarks at Shema Kolainu Annual Legislative Breakfast. Princeton Club of New York, 15 West 43rd Street, Manhattan. 12:00 PM – Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina visits Thomas A. Edison Career and Technical Education High School. 165-65 84th Ave., Queens. 2:30 PM – Comptroller Scott Stringer attends State Senator Brad Hoylman Senior Resource Fair.

Democracy’s Timetable: NYC Politics and Government Events for July 24, 2017

10:30 AM – Mayor de Blasio delivers remarks at the 100 Resilient Cities' Global Resilience Summit opening plenary. Jazz at Lincoln Center, 10 Columbus Circle, Manhattan. 11:30 AM — Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito speaks at the Saw Mill Park groundbreaking.140th Street and Brook Avenue, Bronx. Approximately 1 PM — Mayoral candidate Bo Dietl appears on the Max & Murphy podcast in a taped appearance that is released online. Approximately 7:00 PM – Mayor de Blasio appears on NY1's Road to City Hall

Democracy’s Timetable: Official and Campaign Schedules for July 26

9:00 AM – Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina Delivers remarks at the School Technology Summit. LaGuardia High School, 100 Amsterdam Avenue, Manhattan. 9:45 AM – Farina Makes a College Access for All announcement. The New School – Theresa Lang Community and Student Centerm 55 West 13th Street, Manhattan. Approximately 9:45 AM – Mayor de Blasio Appears on Hot 97
11:30 AM – Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul Discusses Career Opportunities in Public Service and STEM at Lower East Side Girls Club.

Democracy’s Timetable: Official and Campaign Schedules for July 27

8:30 AM – Comptroller Scott M. Stringer attends ABNY Power Breakfast with Governor Andrew Cuomo. 583 Park Avenue, Manhattan. 9:30 AM — Meeting of the City Council's Subcommittee on Zoning and Franchises. Committee Room, City Hall, Manhattan. (Agenda here.

Democratic Senate Candidates

Special Democratic Primary Election
For United States Senator
(Vote for One)
Will Boyd
Vann Caldwell
Jason E. Fisher
Michael Hansen
Doug Jones
Robert Kennedy Jr.
Brian McGee
Charles Nana
(Brian McGee dropped out of the race after ballots were printed.)

Demonstrators rally to support Charlottesville victims

Brian Lambert

Says a WCCO-TV story: “Sunday night, some Minnesotans gathered at Lake Calhoun Park at sunset. They say they marched around the lake to stand against racism and for a fair and just system. This was one of many vigils around the country on Sunday. .… People northwest of the Twin Cities also came together to pray for the victims in Charlottesville. The Union Congregational Church in Elk River held a prayer vigil Sunday night.”Fewer hunters.

Dems Endorse Harp, Smart, Joyner

The Democratic Party nominated three candidates for top offices Tuesday night at a convention that, on the surface, demonstrated no internal divisions — for now.

Denver Public Schools posts record gains on latest state tests

Denver students made more academic progress on state English and math tests last year than ever before, and the overall percentage of third- through ninth-graders who scored at grade level moved to within a few points of the statewide average, test results released Thursday show. It's a significant feat for the state's largest school district, which ten years ago lagged far behind. Notably, the diverse district's academic growth was driven by low-income students, students of color, students with disabilities and English language learners. Students in those groups made progress at a faster rate than students not into those groups, shrinking the growth gaps between traditionally underserved students and their more privileged peers. Superintendent Tom Boasberg called the results “wonderful.” He said that while the district's gaps “are still large and concerning, it's nice to see them moving in the right direction.”
Overall, more Denver Public Schools students met or exceeded state expectations on most tests in most grades.

Denver teachers union leaders, progressive wing diverge on key school board races

The Denver teachers union and a caucus within the union are split over who to support in two competitive school board races that could determine the direction of the state's largest school district. The Denver Classroom Teachers Union this week announced endorsements for all four races in play this fall on the seven-member board. The endorsements are significant because a small donor committee of the union is a major contributor to board candidates. In two races, the DCTA endorsements align with earlier statements of support for candidates from the Caucus of Today's Teachers, formed last year by a group of progressive, social justice-minded teachers that would like to see the union be more aggressive. But in the two races that feature multiple challengers to incumbents, the union and its caucus diverge.

Denver teachers union, members of progressive wing diverge on key school board races

The Denver teachers union and a caucus within the union are split over who to support in two competitive school board races that could determine the direction of the state's largest school district. The Denver Classroom Teachers Union this week announced endorsements for all four races in play this fall on the seven-member board. The endorsements are significant because a small donor committee of the union is a major contributor to board candidates. In two races, the DCTA endorsements align with earlier statements of support for candidates from the Caucus of Today's Teachers, formed last year by a group of progressive, social justice-minded teachers that would like to see the union be more aggressive. But in the two races that feature multiple challengers to incumbents, the union and its caucus diverge.

Department of Labor and St. Johnsbury business fill available positions

News Release — Vermont Department of Labor
July 24, 2017
David Lahr
Department of Labor Partners with Local Business to Fill Hiring Needs
St. Johnsbury, VT. – The Vermont Department of Labor has partnered with NSA Industries, LLC in St. Johnsbury in an effort to fill the company's available positions with skilled, available talent. On Wednesday, July 26, 2017, NSA will open its doors from 4:00p.m. – 7:00p.m. for an onsite recruitment event for the general public.

Department of Labor to host Foundry Fridays and August Job Fair

News Release — Department of Labor
August 10, 2017
Commissioner Lindsay Kurrle
Vermont Department of Labor
Assists GlobalFoundries with Filling Job Openings
Montpelier, VT. – The Vermont Department of Labor has teamed up with GlobalFoundries, in an effort to help fill the company's more than 50 available positions. The Department of Labor will host Foundry Fridays on August 11, 18 and 25 at each of its 12 Career Resource Center across the state. On each of these Fridays, anyone interested in applying for a job at GlobalFoundries in Essex Junction, VT can receive assistance filling out a GlobalFoundries application and get information about available job opportunities. In addition, the Department, along with GlobalFoundries, will host a job fair on August 30, 2017 at the Double Tree located on Williston Road in South Burlington from 3pm–6pm.

Department of Public Safety urges safety in waterways

News Release — Vermont Department of Public Safety
July 14, 2017
Mark Bosma
Safety Urged in Vermont Waterways
WATERBURY – Vermont's lakes and rivers provide many opportunities to cool off and enjoy swimming among the state's natural beauty. As warm weather returns this weekend it's likely many people will venture out into the water. It's important to remember that even a seemingly benign swimming hole can present hazards. The conditions of many familiar spots on rivers are different from past years, so it's important to be cautious. “Heavy rain this summer has caused our waterways to rise and currents to increase, so it's even more important for all to be alert and careful as they enjoy our lakes, ponds and rivers this summer,” Public Safety Commissioner Tom Anderson said.

Deported Army Veteran Gains U.S. Citizenship, Reunited With Family

Arnold Giammarco, the Army and National Guard veteran deported to Italy nearly five years ago, is back home in Connecticut with his wife and daughter. On May 14, 2011, federal immigration officials stormed Giammarco's porch as he talked on the phone, ordered him to lie face down, handcuffed him and placed him in detention. The action was long after he had served time, many years earlier, for two 1997 larceny convictions and a 2004 drug conviction. He was detained without bond for 18 months, and sent to Italy on Nov. 26, 2012.

Der Sturmer and The Daily Stormer: Decades apart, inciting ordinary people to hate Jews

Ellen J. Kennedy

I am a Jew. I am a Jew with protective coloration, however: I've had a non-Jewish last name since the 1970s and I don't have particularly "Jewish-looking" features.Ellen J. KennedyPeople usually assume I'm Catholic, or at least Christian, because of my name and appearance. Over the years, a lot of anti-Semitic comments and jokes have been voiced in my presence but not directed at me personally, of course, because of that coloration. Those comments have offended me because of false and ugly stereotypes on which they are based, but the comments have never frightened me, and when I disclose my Jewish identity, the speakers are always contrite, ashamed, and genuinely embarrassed.The events in Charlottesville frightened me. When I heard the chants about Jews and I saw the huge swastikas that were worn and waved with pride and arrogance, I was truly frightened.Much of my extended family perished in the Holocaust, in the annihilation of the Jewish ghetto in Vilna, Lithuania.

Desmond-Fish Book Sale

Opens Aug. 18 with members' previewDesmond-Fish Book Sale was first posted on August 16, 2017 at 7:36 am.

Despite Disavowals, Leading Tech Companies Help Extremist Sites Monetize Hate

By Julia Angwin, Jeff Larson, Madeleine Varner and Lauren Kirchner,
Because of its “extreme hostility toward Muslims,” the website is considered an active hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Anti-Defamation League. The views of the site's director, Robert Spencer, on Islam led the British Home Office to ban him from entering the country in 2013. But its designation as a hate site hasn't stopped tech companies — including PayPal, Amazon and Newsmax — from maintaining partnerships with Jihad Watch that help to sustain it financially. PayPal facilitates donations to the site. Newsmax — the online news network run by President Donald Trump's close friend Chris Ruddy — pays Jihad Watch in return for users clicking on its headlines.

Despite economic growth, Michigan budget to face steep challenges

A new report shows over $2 billion in potential General Fund revenue will be diverted or dedicated to other promised programs by 2023. Add an economy that will inevitably cool, and Michigan will soon be facing serious budget challenges.

Despite Hazards, Push To Open Public Roads To Off-Road Vehicles In High Gear

More than 14,000 people, including roughly 3,200 children age 15 or younger, have been killed in crashes of all-terrain vehicles since federal safety officials began keeping track in the early 1980s. Studies have shown (here and here) that over half of the deaths occur on public or private roads — even though ATVs are required to display safety warnings that they are not designed to be operated safely on roads. This is a story from For more reporting go to its website. Yet in recent years, officials in small towns and rural areas around the country, at the urging of riding enthusiasts, have been approving the use of ATVs — and other off-road machines known as recreational off-highway vehicles, or ROVs — on public roadways.

Despite hazards, push to open public roads to off-road vehicles in high gear

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Despite Hazards, Push to Open Public Roads to Off-Road Vehicles in High Gear

Eric Carr/Alamy Stock PhotoMore than 14,000 people, including roughly 3,200 children age 15 or younger, have been killed in crashes of all-terrain vehicles since federal safety officials began keeping track in the early 1980s. Studies have shown (here and here) that over half of the deaths occur on public or private roads — even though ATVs are required to display safety warnings that they are not designed to be operated safely on roads. Yet in recent years, officials in small towns and rural areas around the country, at the urging of riding enthusiasts, have been approving the use of ATVs — and other off-road machines known as recreational off-highway vehicles, or ROVs — on public roadways. Safety advocates have pushed back, but they are losing more fights than they win. “This is an uphill battle,” acknowledged Rachel Weintraub, general counsel of the Consumer Federation of America, which has spearheaded efforts to restrict use of off-highway vehicles on paved, dirt and gravel roads.

Despite hazards, Wisconsin, other states open roads to ATVs

Wisconsin rules of the road for ATVs
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources offers the following guidance for off-road vehicle use on public roadways:
Operation on and around public roads is highly restricted and in most cases illegal
Do not assume that you can ride on or next to roads (ditches) the same way snowmobilers do. These general allowances do not exist for ATV operation. There is no residential access allowance that permits you to ride on a roadway from a dwelling to the nearest trail or route. You will need to haul your machine to the nearest legal access point. ATV and UTV operators who are at least 12 years old for an ATV — and at least 16 years old for a UTV — must complete a safety certification course to operate on public ATV/UTV trails and areas in Wisconsin.

Despite Review Mandate, Most Juvenile Lifers Sit and Wait

Prison gates have not swung open for the more than 2,000 people sentenced to life without parole as juveniles, whose cases were mandated for review by a U.S. Supreme Court ruling last year. The Associated Press reports that uncertainty and opposition stirred by the new mandate have resulted in an uneven patchwork of policies as courts and lawmakers wrestle with these complicated, painful cases. The odds of release or continued imprisonment vary from state to state, even county to county, in a pattern that can make justice seem arbitrary. The court ruled that juvenile lifers must get a chance to show their crimes did not reflect “irreparable corruption” and, if not, have some hope for freedom. The AP surveyed all 50 states to see how judges and prosecutors, lawmakers and parole boards are re-examining the case.

Details of United Healthcare whistleblower lawsuit unsealed

MinnPost staff

More details on the suit against United Healthcare. Kaiser Health News' Fred Schulte reports: “United Healthcare Services Inc., which runs the nation's largest private Medicare Advantage insurance plan, concealed hundreds of complaints of enrollment fraud and other misconduct from federal officials as part of a scheme to collect bonus payments it didn't deserve, a newly unsealed whistleblower lawsuit alleges. … The suit, filed by United Healthcare sales agents in Wisconsin, accuses the giant insurer of keeping a ‘dual set of books' to hide serious complaints about its services and of being ‘intentionally ineffective' at investigating misconduct by its sales staff. A federal judge unsealed the lawsuit, first filed in October 2016, on Tuesday.”Water fascinating topic. The Pioneer Press' Bob Shaw writes: “If the grass is always greener in Woodbury, here's one reason — it has the cheapest water in the metro area.

Development is Top Issue in Race for Lower Manhattan Council Seat

New York City CouncilMargaret Chin, seen in the Council chambers in 2010. The Board of Elections has yet to confirm who is officially on the ballot for all City Council races. Those results will likely be posted by or before Thursday August 10. Check our continuous local elections coverage for updates. Mayor de Blasio's proposed neighborhood rezonings are an issue in Council races for East Harlem and the area around Jerome Avenue in the Bronx, where community skeptics are grilling candidates to see who's a reliable ally in resisting the administration's plans.

Development to add 47 homes along Hillcrest Road

Local developer, Hugh Bickle, involved in a project to in-fill empty land the formerly housed a Christmas tree and firewood lot

Dexter Gordon In His Own Words

Jazz Unlimited for August 6, 2017 will be “Dexter Gordon in His Own Words.” The great tenor saxophonist Dexter Gordon was noted not only for his melodic solos that were compositions in their own right but also for inserting humorous quotes into his solos. He had a great speaking voice and late in his career was nominated for an Oscar for his work in the film “‘Round Midnight.” We will hear him in four monologues on various topics and with Dizzy Gillespie, the Billy Eckstine Orchestra, Wardell Gray, Herbie Hancock, Woody Shaw and with his own groups. His compositions will be played Ray Brown and the Roots group. A special feature of this show will be vocalese versions of two of his great solos by Kurt Elling. The Slide Show has my photographs of some of the artists heard on this show.

DHHS Reveals More Details about Medicaid Reform Plan

By Rose Hoban
More than a year after the Department of Health and Human Services sent off a tentative plan to federal regulators to overhaul the state's Medicaid program, state officials unveiled details of the plan. A 77-page report released Tuesday morning fleshes out the bones of the plan submitted last June to federal regulators that describes how North Carolina plans to change Medicaid from a fee-for-service program to one where insurance companies get paid a per-person, per-month fee and are instructed to provide better patient outcomes. Mandy Cohen in her office on the Dorothea Dix campus. Photo credit: Rose Hoban“We have been in a process of implementing the law that was passed by the General Assembly… to transition the Medicaid program to managed care,” said HHS Sec. Mandy Cohen, referring to the 2015 law that transforms Medicaid.

Did a policy aimed at building trust in the Minneapolis Police Department end up doing the opposite?

Peter Callaghan

Almost four years ago, Minneapolis City Council member Betsy Hodges stood in front of reporters and cameras to announce that she'd found money in the Minneapolis budget to start a body camera pilot program for the Minneapolis Police Department.At the time, some saw Hodges' announcement as political, another plank in her 2013 mayoral campaign platform. But once elected, Hodges made body cameras a centerpiece of her police reform agenda. Late last year, she celebrated a full rollout of body cameras for the entire department.But what should have been vindication of those efforts has now become another sore spot in police-community relations. Footage that could have answered many of the questions in the July 15 shooting death of Justine Damond, a southwest Minneapolis resident who'd called in a possible assault via 911, isn't available. The reason?

Did Great Lakes just get another invasive species?

A new non-native species has been found in western Lake Erie, the EPA said Monday. It's named Brachionus leydigii. And it's a type of zooplankton, which means it could be food for lots of fish.

Diesel Lounge Goes To “The Other Side”

The Diesel Lounge on Upper State Street is launching a series of monthly pop-up exhibitions that will be showcasing works from “The Other Side.”However, seance-seekers and Madame Blavatsky aficionados, despair in advance. For there will likely be no spirits, ghosts, or zombies mingling among the lounge lizards.

Digital Health Portals Could Actually Widen Health Disparities

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. – A much heralded push toward digital patient portals, commonly integrated with electronic health records, may be exacerbating health disparities between rich and poor. In fact, for a variety of reasons, “you could argue they increase disparities,” said Suneel Ratan, chief strategy officer of Community Health Center Network and the Alameda Health Consortium, who has researched the use of patient portals in Bay Area community health centers. Last year, MayView Community Health Center's three clinics – here in Mountain View, Palo Alto and Sunnyvale -- launched their patient portal tool to meet “meaningful use” requirements in order to receive federal incentive checks, a part of the Electronic Health Records Incentive Program. The program was designed to help health care providers move away from a paper-based system.

Disabled and Disobedient: How ADAPT Activists Blocked the GOP Healthcare Bill

DENVER—At 7 p.m. on June 29, Republican Sen. Cory Gardner's office resembles a middle-school sleepover, blankets and snacks scattered across the floor. Only the jaunty flag dangling from the wall exposes the scene for what it really is. “Our Homes, Not Nursing Homes,” it reads. Disability-rights activists with ADAPT are worried the GOP's proposed cuts to Medicaid could force them into institutions by slashing support for home- and community-based services. This is a sit-in.

Disabled Texans say bathroom bill could further complicate their lives

For Octavio Armendariz, using the bathroom while he's home is no big deal. When the autistic eight-year-old is out in public with his mom, it's a different story. Rosanna Armendariz isn't comfortable with Octavio, who has the social and emotional development of a three-year-old, navigating the men's bathroom alone. So she brings him into the women's bathroom with her instead. “We started getting looks from the time he was around seven," she said.

Discount available on Yestermorrow course for central Vermonters

News Release — Yestermorrow Design/Build School
July 21, 2017
888 496 5541
In the middle of downtown Montpelier, right on the Winooski River and only a stone's throw from the State House, is a strange 9' by 26' bump jutting from the bike path. It's an empty, flat, unremarkable piece of pavement and fence that thousands of eyes scan over every day. Hundreds of legs walk and ride past. There's nothing to see, and nothing there. But in a few weeks, there will be.

Discount available on Yestermorrow course for central Vermonters

News Release — Yestermorrow Design/Build School
July 21, 2017
888 496 5541
In the middle of downtown Montpelier, right on the Winooski River and only a stone's throw from the State House, is a strange 9' by 26' bump jutting from the bike path. It's an empty, flat, unremarkable piece of pavement and fence that thousands of eyes scan over every day. Hundreds of legs walk and ride past. There's nothing to see, and nothing there. But in a few weeks, there will be.

Discount available on Yestermorrow course for central Vermonters

News Release — Yestermorrow Design/Build School
July 21, 2017
888 496 5541
In the middle of downtown Montpelier, right on the Winooski River and only a stone's throw from the State House, is a strange 9' by 26' bump jutting from the bike path. It's an empty, flat, unremarkable piece of pavement and fence that thousands of eyes scan over every day. Hundreds of legs walk and ride past. There's nothing to see, and nothing there. But in a few weeks, there will be.

Discussing postpartum depression and ways it is being treated

Research by the Centers for Disease Control finds that one in nine women experience postpartum depression, a depression that occurs after having a baby. Some postpartum depression experiences last longer and are felt in different ways than others. Dr. Matthew Broom, SLUCare pediatrician at SSM Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital said that anywhere between 15 and 30 percent of women experience some sort of postpartum depression, that lasts past the first two weeks after birth. "It is often the most common medical problem new mothers face," Broom said on Monday's St. Louis on the Air, when our panel discussed the topic, an important component of maternal death discussions that outlets like NPR and ProPublica have been undertaking for the past year .

Dismantling of Confederate Memorial marks the end of two years of promises, planning and protests

Former St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay said he'd take down the Confederate Memorial in Forest Park in 2015. That didn't happen, so it fell to Mayor Lyda Krewson, who promised a plan to get it done almost as soon as she took office in April. Two months later, the 32-foot-tall granite and bronze memorial is being taken apart — slowly, as some pieces weigh as much as 40 tons. Some say the credit for the quick action doesn't belong to Krewson but rather members of the community who've been vocal in recent weeks.

District Admits Pushing Struggling Students Toward Charters

Students who began as part of San Diego Unified's class of 2016 but who left district high schools and transferred to a charter school had a combined grade point average of 1.75 at the time they transferred, district records released through a Public Records Act request show. That bolsters the case that charter schools acted as an escape hatch for San Diego Unified students, taking in some of the school district's lowest-performing high school students and helping the district land a 91 percent graduation rate in 2016 – the highest on record. On a 4.0 scale, a combined GPA of 1.75 equates to a C-minus average. In order to earn a high school diploma from San Diego Unified, students have to pass all high school requirements and have a GPA of 2.0 or higher. Not only does the data show the lowest-performing students were transferring out of the district, school officials now admit that's exactly what has happened in the past – a major reversal after vehemently denying that was the case.

District Data: A Unexpected Open Seat in Queens’ District 21

NYC GISDistrict 21
One of 2017's most interesting Council contests was triggered when a powerful incumbent decided to step down, opening the door to a race featuring a pol forced from office amid legal trouble several years ago. Council Finance Chairwoman Julissa Ferreras-Copeland, considered very likely to be reelected to her third term and a frontrunner in the Speaker sweepstakes, announced in June that she would leave the Council to spend more time with her family. Assemblyman Francisco Moya stepped into the race, but already in the mix was Hiram Monserrate—the one-time Councilmember from the district who later was elected to the State Senate but was convicted in 2009 of a misdemeanor for an altercation with his girlfriend, expelled from the Senate in 2010, and in 2012 pleaded guilty to federal charges of mail fraud. For more on the race, read this. For some details on the district, read on.

District Data: Dynastic District 42 Votes After Big Rezoning Next Door

NYC GISDistrict 42

It's been 16 years since someone not named Barron represented the 42nd district. Charles Barron was the Councilmember from 2002 through 2013, when his wife—then a member of the state Assembly—succeeded him. Charles then ran for and won the Assembly seat. The district encompasses much of what is considered East New York, which of course, was the scene of the de Blasio administration's first neighborhood rezoning. Most of the East New York rezoning fell to the north of Barron's district.

District Map, Job Description

The Office Birmingham City Council, District 4
The duties: The nine-member council is the legislative arm of Birmingham city government. It enacts legislation, adopts budgets and decides on policies for the city during weekly council meetings. One councilor is elected from each of nine districts to serve a four-year term. The area: District 4 includes Airport Highlands, Brownsville Heights, Brummitt Heights, Maple Grove, Penfield Park, parts of Echo Highlands and Killough Springs, Pine Knoll Vista, East Birmingham, Inglenook, Kinston, part of North Avondale, North East Lake, part of Wahouma, Collegeville, part of Fairmont and North Birmingham, Harriman Park, Norwood, Woodlawn and South Woodlawn. The Office Birmingham City Council, District 4
The duties: The nine-member council is the legislative arm of Birmingham city government.

District Map, Job Description

The Office Birmingham City Council, District 6
The duties: The nine-member council is the legislative arm of Birmingham city government. It enacts legislation, adopts budgets and decides on policies for the city during weekly council meetings. One councilor is elected from each of nine districts to serve a four-year term. Birmingham City Council District Map

District Map, Job Description

Birmingham City Council District Map
The Office Birmingham City Council, District 1
The duties: The nine-member council is the legislative arm of Birmingham city government. It enacts legislation, adopts budgets and decides on policies for the city during weekly council meetings. One councilor is elected from each of nine districts to serve a four-year term.

Diverse, Radical and Ready to Resist: Meet the First in a New Wave of Local Progressive Officials

AUSTIN, TEXAS—When San Francisco supervisor John Avalos helped form Local Progress, a national network of progressive elected officials, he was dismayed by his own city's left-leaning political scene. The Bay Area was a hotbed of innovative policy-making. But getting his city hall colleagues to work together more closely, rather than just promote their own pet projects and personal “brand” was not easy. “Politics should be a team sport,” he says. “And we didn't have that enough.”

On the other side of the country, Bill Henry, a progressive on Baltimore's city council, often felt like a minority of one.

Do Criminal Defendants Have Web Rights?

Court-imposed web restrictions applied to criminal defendants may be going the way of dial-up internet service. In June, the Supreme Court issued a unanimous ruling in Packingham v. North Carolina that invalidated a state law banning registered sex offenders from accessing websites that could facilitate direct communications with minors. While the majority opinion and concurrence seems grounded in—and specific to—sex offender restrictions, the evolving communications technology that operates in cyberspace today suggests that the ruling will have an impact on attempts to restrict web access for all criminal defendants in state or federal courts. Lester Packingham pleaded guilty to having sex with a 13-year-old girl when he was 21. Eight years after his conviction, Lester bragged on Facebook about a happy day in traffic court, using the screen name of J.R. Gerrard, and exclaiming:
“Man God is Good!

Do vouchers actually expand school choice? Not necessarily — it depends on how they’re designed

Who benefits most from private school voucher programs: families with few options or the schools themselves? This is a hotly debated question among supporters and critics of school vouchers, and is especially relevant as U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos has vowed to allow more families to use public dollars to pay for private school tuition. A 2016 study considers this question and comes back with an answer: It depends. Programs targeted at certain students, like low-income ones, lead to an increase in private school enrollment; but universal choice programs with few if any eligibility requirements don't cause more students to enter private schools, with schools instead raising tuition. That's the conclusion of the research, published in the peer-reviewed Journal of Public Economics, which examined eight private school choice initiatives, including both voucher programs and tax credit subsidies, which offer generous tax breaks for private school fees.

Doctors Without Borders calls US bombing of its hospital a crime against humanity

The Pentagon changed its story today, and the humanitarian group demanded an independent international inquiry.Doctors Without Borders is calling the incident a crime against humanity.“Under the rules of international humanitarian law, a hospital is a hospital and the people inside are patients — to target a medical facility in this way is a violation of that, whatever the circumstances,” Vickie Hawkins, executive director of the UK branch of Doctors Without Borders, tells The Takeaway. “The statements that have been coming out of the Afghan government in the past 24 hours would lead us to believe that there was some kind of intent behind the attack. We can only presume, on this basis, that that constitutes a war crime.” The US says the strike in Kunduz, which is under investigation, was issued after Afghan forces came under fire near the hospital and then called for help.“An airstrike was then called to eliminate the Taliban threat and several civilians were accidentally struck,” the American commander in Afghanistan, Gen. John F. Campbell,

Documenting Hate News Index

by Pitch Interactive
This page lists media reports, collected by Google News, about hate crimes and bias incidents.

Does Danish study say drinking alcohol prevents diabetes? Um, not really.

Susan Perry

It's the kind of study that produces headlines social media loves: “Regular alcohol consumption could cut diabetes risk,” “Want to keep diabetes at bay? Drinking alcohol might just help,” and “You now have a good reason to drink six beers next week.”As one person gleefully quipped on Twitter: "I'll drink to that one!"But do those headlines accurately reflect the study's findings, which were published last week by a team of Danish researchers in Diabetologia (the journal of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes)?No. For the study was an observational one, which means it cannot conclusively determine whether alcohol offers any protection against diabetes. In fact, the study's limitations (which I'll get to in a minute) are significant. So, although the findings are interesting, no one should be using alcohol as a liquid talisman against diabetes.

Does poorly educating students violate the constitution? A judge will decide

How New Mexico educates its children will be in the hands of a state judge soon as a landmark trial against the state Public Education Department wraps up. Over eight weeks, the trial has featured dozens of witnesses and numerous citations to academic studies and policy reports. But in the end, the trial before First […]

DOJ Adds Prosecutors to Target Drug-Dealing Docs

Attorney General Jeff Sessions has vowed a federal crackdown on drug-dealing doctors and pharmacies exploiting the opioid crisis for cold, hard cash, reports the New York Daily News. Speaking in opioid-ravaged Ohio, Sessions unveiled a new analytics program to track drug prescriptions and sales, with a dozen prosecutors poised to lower the legal boom on offenders. “If you are a doctor illegally prescribing opioids for profit or a pharmacist letting these pills walk out the door … we are coming after you,” Sessions declared. “We will reverse these devastating trends with every tool we have.”
Sessions made the announcement in one of the states suffering most from the opioid explosion. Ohio will also be home to one of the 12 new federal drug prosecutors.

DOJ Scraps Scientific Panel on Forensic Evidence

Prosecutors won a victory over academics and defense attorneys in the debate over what qualifies as sound crime-scene evidence versus “junk science” used to convict defendants wrongly, the Wall Street Journal reports. Guidelines for the use of forensic evidence in court, previously developed by a partnership between the Justice Department and a panel of scientists, will be spearheaded by former Missouri prosecutor Ted Hunt, who reports to the DOJ leadership. Forensic science has come under heightened scrutiny since the National Academy of Sciences concluded in 2009 that hair samples, bite marks, ballistics reports and handwriting analysis used to prove guilt were scientifically flawed. The FBI used scientifically questionable microscopic hair comparisons to help identify suspects in hundreds of convictions dating back to the mid-1980s. Prosecutors say defense lawyers can persuade courts to question techniques that are entirely solid.

Domestic violence victims utility waiver adopted

Domestic violence victims will soon be able to remove one of many obstacles that could prevent their transition into a new home away from abusers: coming up with utility deposits. The Mississippi Public Service Commission formally adopted a “domestic violence rule” establishing a utility deposit waiver for certified victims at its meeting Tuesday. The commission's unanimous decision means that 30 days after the rule is filed with the Mississippi Secretary of State's office, companies such as Entergy Mississippi, Mississippi Power Co., Atmos Energy, CenterPoint Energy, electric-power associations and cooperatives can waive victims' utility deposits for up to 60 days. “They still have to pay it after 60 days, but that's to help these victims escape a dangerous situation,” said Brandon Presley, chairman of the Public Service Commission, after the meeting. These utility providers will first need to confirm that the applicant is a domestic violence victim.

Dominion still reluctant to open Millstone’s books

Dominion Energy signaled an intention Friday to play hardball with state energy officials by questioning the need to share financial data sought by Connecticut state agencies that are jointly assessing the economic viability of its Millstone nuclear power station, the biggest source of electricity in New England.

Don Keelan: A guidebook for board members of nonprofits

Editor's note: This commentary is by Don Keelan, a certified public accountant and resident of Arlington. The piece first appeared in the Bennington Banner. The Vermont's Attorney General's Office will be publishing a 17-page handbook titled, “Understand Your Responsibilities,” subtitled, “Guidance for Board Members of Charitable Nonprofit Organizations in Vermont,” and available in late October. According to the publication's introductory letter by Vermont Attorney General Bill Sorrell, the publication is the product of two of his assistant attorneys general, Wendy Morgan and Todd Daloz, with additional assistance from Linnea Myers. Attorney General Sorrell notes the following in his letter:
“A good board provides leadership, vision, and wisdom to guide the nonprofit.

Don Keelan: Guadalcanal 75 years later

Editor's note: This commentary is by Don Keelan, a certified public accountant and resident of Arlington. The piece first appeared in the Bennington Banner. I might be mistaken, but if one were to ask Vermonters what was the significance of America's invasion of the island of Guadalcanal on Aug. 7, 1942, from most a blank stare would be the reaction. Not so if you put the question to Gedeon Lacroix.

Don Keelan: More important things to do

Editor's note: This commentary is by Don Keelan, a certified public accountant and resident of Arlington. The piece first appeared in the Bennington Banner. The Bennington Banner and Manchester Journal recently reported that the Vermont Board of Libraries on July 11 postponed making a decision to rename the Dorothy Canfield Fisher Book Award. The reason the board was meeting in the first place was due to the allegations by author/educator Judy Dow that 20th century Vermont icon Dorothy Canfield Fisher was, in fact, a racist. Space does not provide me with the opportunity to go into all of the details that Dow cites to defame the Arlington author.

Don Rendall: Natural gas expansion boosts economy

Editor's note: This commentary is by Don Rendall, who is the president and CEO of Vermont Gas. Vermont Gas' Addison County customer expansion project has received its fair share of news coverage over the past few years and rightfully so: This has been a complex and, at times, very challenging project. Often missing in the many headlines about Vermont Gas are the tremendous benefits this project will bring to Vermont. Construction alone has pumped tens of millions of dollars into our state and local economies. Since early June, over 250 men and women – laborers, inspectors and contractors – have been hard at work six days a week building this important infrastructure project.

Don’t expect Trump or the GOP to stop trying to kill Obamacare

Eric Black

The Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) was never perfect. Far from it. It's too complicated, contains a hundred weird compromises and small payoffs to various industries and to reluctant senators to make passage possible. To really understand how it was supposed to work, you would have to sit still for a fairly long lecture. But it has done a lot more good than harm (at least according to my definitions of “good” and “harm.”)It roughly cut in half the share of Americans who lacked health insurance, but if it had been allowed to work as designed, and if there had been a bipartisan commitment to make small fixes as problems became manifest, a lot more Americans would be covered by health insurance.Zero Republicans voted for the Affordable Care Act, and they have spent seven years trying to get rid of it.

Dorothea Crosby

Birmingham City Council, District 5
Dorothea Crosby
Name: Dorothea Crosby
Age: 55
Political experience: None
Professional experience: Judicial assistant, state of Alabama, 2006-2013; corporate security, Compass Bank, 2004-2006; investment operation processor, Compass Bank, 2002-2004; customer service representative, Compass Bank, 2000-2002; customer service representative, Alabama Power, 1997-2000; telephone service representative, Sitel Corporation, 1998-1998; cashier, Birmingham Parking Authority, 1996-1997; hospital aid/darkroom technician, University of Alabama at Birmingham, 1989-1996
Civic experience: Volunteer, Children's Village; volunteer, Habitat for Humanity; volunteer, pre-K program, Birmingham City Schools. Education: Attended Southern Junior College, 1980-1981; Graduated A.H. Parker High School, 1976-1980. Top contributors: Frank Haywood, $200 in-kind; Maston Evans Jr., $200; Season Sports Bar and Grill, $200; Dorothy Crosby, $150. Main issues: If elected, Crosby plans to prioritize community safety, education and affordable housing. To do so, she plans to partner with the Birmingham Police Department to explore crime reduction initiatives and to improve community relations, to work with leadership in the Public Works Department to implement a strategic scheduling system to eliminate overgrown lots in District 5, and to partner with area colleges to create programs that enable individuals to improve their job marketability.

DOT values expertise over price in rail competition

Connecticut rejected the lowest of five bidders for the contract to operate train service on the new Hartford Line, instead picking the overall top scorer in a ranking system that valued expertise and experience over price, according to scoring sheets released Thursday by the Department of Transportation.