The community committee determining which projects will go into an El Paso Independent School District bond initiative so far agrees on including at least $572.3 million in renovations, updates and construction.That total could rise as the Facilities Advisory Committee will deliberate on several more projects Aug. 2 before presenting a final bond initiative and its total to the EPISD Board of Trustees on Aug. 9.On Thursday evening, the committee members split into eight tables and reviewed a list of 61 potential bond projects totaling nearly $910.9 million. The tables then drafted their own bond initiatives, with totals ranging from $502.5 million to $881.5 million.Projects selected by six or more tables were automatically included in the committee’s final bond proposal.The meeting had the festive frenzy of Election Night, with tables selecting their projects on laptops and real-time results being projected onto a screen. A cha-ching sounded when a project received enough … [Read more...] about Group starts choosing projects for EPISD bond
Safety advisory group
A work group formed by the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet to explore drinking water safety issues violated the state's open meetings law in March, the Kentucky attorney general has determined.The cabinet's Lead in Drinking Water Work Group failed to give proper advance notice of its first meeting and conducted that meeting through a telephone conference call - both in violation of sunshine provisions of state law, wrote Assistant Attorney General Amye L. Bensenhaver, for Attorney General Andy Beshear."These acts contravene the mandate of the act, and the judicial recognition that public agencies much 'conduct the public's business in such a way that the deliberation and decisions are accomplished in an atmosphere wherein the public and the media may be present,'" she wrote. The cabinet's response to the newspaper's complaint was also inadequate, according to the finding.The Courier-Journal on April 5 had challenged the cabinet's original position that the … [Read more...] about Water work group violated open meetings law
A sense of optimism was present among members of the Wilmington Public Safety Strategies Commission, which held its first meeting Tuesday at the Walnut Street YMCA.Consultants outlined a six-week plan that, when implemented, is meant to reduce shootings, homicides and violent crimes in Wilmington. About 55 people attended the first meeting of the Gov. Jack Markell-controlled panel.Calling the assembled consultants "an all-star team," Lewis D. Schiliro, secretary of Delaware's Department of Safety and Homeland Security, added, "that has not only experienced great success, but also knows what it is to be behind the 8 ball, which is probably equally important."Vigilant Resources International, one of the consultants, is led by Howard Safir, a former police commissioner of New York City. The other, the Police Foundation's team, will be led by Jim Burch, a former assistant director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The consultants are being paid a total of $200,000 … [Read more...] about Governor’s group convenes to look at Wilmington crime
WASHINGTON — Days before the November election, Donald Trump announced the formation of a coalition of gun enthusiasts to advise him on Second Amendment issues. And he hasn't mentioned them since.The coalition hasn't formally convened, and it's unclear when, or whether, that will happen."I suspect there’s more things on the president’s plate of higher urgency," said coalition co-chairman Michael Kassnar, an executive with IWI US, a subsidiary of an Israeli small arms manufacturer. "We're as interested as you are in what role we're going to be able to play."The White House now says the group is a “campaign coalition.” But a handful of co-chairs said they expect — or at least hope — to play some role in advising the White House.Co-chairman John Boch believes Donald Trump Jr., an avid outdoorsman, will serve as a conduit between the advisory group and the White House. He and National Rifle Association lobbyist Chris … [Read more...] about What ever happened to President Trump’s gun advisory group?
ALBANY - A little vision is still required to renew a driver's license in New York. State officials Friday backtracked on plans, just announced Monday, to let drivers renew licenses without taking a vision test. "Those of us charged with delivering key government services to the public must always look for the most cost-effective ways to provide those services," state Commissioner of Motor Vehicles Barbara Fiala said in a statement. "But public safety will always be the first priority at DMV and it will not be compromised." Fiala said she will form an advisory group of health, safety and transportation experts to review the issue. The DMV, as part of an effort to streamline the renewal process, wanted to allow motorists to renew licenses simply by certifying they meet the vision requirement. Officials said the goal was to allow motorists to renew their licenses on the DMV website or by mail. They noted that six other states, including Connecticut and Pennsylvania, do … [Read more...] about Cuomo team pulls plan to let drivers renew licenses without vision test after safety concerns
It has been five months since Adam Cohen, the independent member of the state’s three-member Oyster Creek Safety Advisory Panel and the only member with any expertise about nuclear energy, left his post.Cohen left his job as chief operations officer at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory to serve as deputy undersecretary for science and energy with the Department of Energy. The other two members of the oversight panel are Bob Martin, commissioner of the Department of Environmental Protection, and Edward Dickson, director of the Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness.Who has replaced Cohen?No one.Asked when a replacement will be named, a DEP spokesman this week responded, “We expect a replacement to be named over the summer.”Asked when the panel last issued a report on its activities, the spokesman replied “2013.” He added that the panel “meets with NRC and Exelon to go over the progression of steps toward closure of the facility.” … [Read more...] about EDITORIAL: Who’s checking Oyster Creek safety?
The bombing of departing audience from an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England, late Monday serves as an alarm bell that protecting public venues in the future will have to focus more on hardening building perimeters, security experts said Tuesday.That could be a problem just as the summer concert and music festival season is starting. Aside from sports events, live music concerts are the most obvious public gatherings of mass audiences available, at least in the USA.Major music acts are preparing to take to the road, many of them scheduled to play at sprawling, hard-to-secure arenas. And outdoor music festivals could be even more difficult to protect from harm without creating impossible lines of concert-goers waiting to be checked before getting near a stage.Already, some bands are either canceling gigs or adjusting their touring plans and beefing up their security details. Wild Things Park, outside of Pittsburgh, announced Tuesday that it's tripling security … [Read more...] about Ariana Grande concert bombing: Safety focus shifts to venue perimeters
Facebook. The social networking site announced Monday that it will create a safety advisory board to protect its users from sex offenders and other online criminals, the Associated Press reports. The global board will include representatives from Internet safety groups with which Facebook already has relationships. They include Common Sense Media, ConnectSafely, WiredSafety, Childnet International and The Family Online Safety Institute. Last year Facebook signed an agreement with the attorneys general of 49 states vowing to help protect children online. New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo last week revealed that more than 3,500 offenders registered in New York have recently been removed from Facebook and MySpace. Meanwhile, 25 states have passed new laws in the past two years that require sex criminals to register their email addresses and home addresses. Join the Conversation: … [Read more...] about Facebook creates safety advisory board to protect child users
A broad coalition of public-interest groups will demonstrate Thursday outside certain CVS stores in New York and four other cities to protest what they say is unequal service to minority communities. The coalition will release a report that alleges "questionable product quality, overcharging and consumer safety issues" by the chain in minority neighborhoods. CVS is the nation's largest pharmaceutical chain, with more than 500 stores in the New York metro area and 6,800 stores nationwide. CVS Caremark Corp. is America's largest source of prescription drugs, according to the coalition. In the Bronx, Brooklyn and Queens alone, CVS has more than 50 pharmacies. The coalition cites the legal action that state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo took last June against CVS after undercover investigators found expired products in 142 CVS stores - 60% of the CVS stores they visited across New York State. The advisory announcing today's press conference was signed by Change to Win, … [Read more...] about CVS is bad prescription for minority neighborhoods, group charges
WASHINGTON — Scientists who receive grants from the Environmental Protection Agency will no longer be allowed to simultaneously serve on the agency's nearly two dozen advisory boards, an unprecedented directive EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt said would increase the scientific integrity behind its rule-making."Whatever science that we are involved in here at the EPA shouldn't be political science," Pruitt told a group of reporters Tuesday. "We want to ensure that the American people have confidence ... in the process and that the advisers that we have in each of these respective capacities are providing independent, arms-length input to us as we make decisions."The move was immediately denounced by environmental activists who said it would allow Pruitt to replace impartial researchers with industry allies.Steven Hamburg, chief scientist for the Environmental Defense Fund, called it "the height of hypocrisy."Pruitt "is trying to gaslight Americans into … [Read more...] about Pruitt moves to shake up EPA advisory boards, further antagonizing environmental activists