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TexasTowelie

Profile Information

Gender: Male
Hometown: Texas
Home country: United States
Current location: Red Hell Texas
Member since: Sun Aug 14, 2011, 03:57 AM
Number of posts: 73,858

About Me

Middle-aged white guy who believes in justice and equality for all. Math and computer analyst with additional 21st century jack-of-all-trades skills. I'm a stud, not a dud!

Journal Archives

Texas quarantine order now includes all Louisiana travelers

AUSTIN, Texas (KTRK) -- Texas Governor Greg Abbott has dramatically expanded the mandatory 14 day quarantine order issued last week to include people who've traveled from the entire state of Louisiana by road or air.

"My prior executive order about travel from New Orleans covered air travel from New Orleans into the state of Texas. Now, I am updating that executive order to also include travel by road. Travel by road from any location in the state of Louisiana. Importantly, this executive order does not apply to travel related to commercial activity, military service, emergency response, health response, or critical infrastructure functions. This order will be enforced like the order that I issued previously about travel from New Orleans. It will be enforced by the Department of Public Safety at and near entry points from Louisiana."


The order was announced at a briefing on Sunday.

National Guard task force brigades have been called to provide infrastructure support to the state, as well as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Abbott has also designated a Dallas convention center as a site that will warehouse medical equipment and 250 beds, if needed.

Read more: https://abc13.com/health/texas-quarantine-order-now-includes-all-louisiana-travelers/6060832/

Cross-posted in the Texas Group.

Texas quarantine order now includes all Louisiana travelers

AUSTIN, Texas (KTRK) -- Texas Governor Greg Abbott has dramatically expanded the mandatory 14 day quarantine order issued last week to include people who've traveled from the entire state of Louisiana by road or air.

"My prior executive order about travel from New Orleans covered air travel from New Orleans into the state of Texas. Now, I am updating that executive order to also include travel by road. Travel by road from any location in the state of Louisiana. Importantly, this executive order does not apply to travel related to commercial activity, military service, emergency response, health response, or critical infrastructure functions. This order will be enforced like the order that I issued previously about travel from New Orleans. It will be enforced by the Department of Public Safety at and near entry points from Louisiana."


The order was announced at a briefing on Sunday.

National Guard task force brigades have been called to provide infrastructure support to the state, as well as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Abbott has also designated a Dallas convention center as a site that will warehouse medical equipment and 250 beds, if needed.

Read more: https://abc13.com/health/texas-quarantine-order-now-includes-all-louisiana-travelers/6060832/

Cross-posted in the Louisiana Group.

Timetable for Houston-to-Dallas bullet train uncertain after company lays off 28 employees

DALLAS, Texas (KTRK) -- Many workers hired to create the nation's first high-speed bullet train from Dallas to Houston were laid off Friday due to COVID-19 economic impacts.

"Unfortunately, like many other companies and organizations around the world, we have been forced to make hard decisions in an effort to make the best use of our current funding," said Carlos Aguilar, CEO of Texas Central High-Speed Rail. "The result has been the layoff of approximately 28 employees."

Experts needed to make this project a success have been hired from many different parts of the world.

"This is one of those moments where we have to acknowledge how small our world really is," he said. "Our engineering partner is in Italy, our operations partner is in Spain and our technology provider is in Japan. Understanding the impact of COVID-19 and the challenges those countries and the US are facing, is a new fact of life."

Read more: https://abc13.com/6059224/

Lockdown, what lockdown? Sweden's unusual response to coronavirus

While swathes of Europe's population endure lockdown conditions in the face of the coronavirus outbreak, one country stands almost alone in allowing life to go on much closer to normal.

After a long winter, it's just become warm enough to sit outside in the Swedish capital and people are making the most of it.

Families are tucking into ice creams beneath a giant statue of the Viking God Thor in Mariatorget square. Young people are enjoying happy-hour bubbles from pavement seating further down the street.

Elsewhere in the city, nightclubs have been open this week, but gatherings for more than 50 people will be banned from Sunday.

Compare that to neighbouring Denmark, which has restricted meetings to 10 people, or the UK where you're no longer supposed to meet anyone outside your household.

Read more: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-52076293

Facing Likely Defeat, Bernie Sanders' Campaign Found A New Cause

After Bernie Sanders suffered three straight weeks of big losses across the country, the Vermont Senator returned home to "assess his campaign."

It appeared, in that moment, that Sanders' campaign was all but over. He trailed former Vice President Joe Biden by about 300 delegates and was facing calls to drop out. The conventional wisdom in political circles was that Biden would effectively wrap up the nomination by the end of March.

But the coronavirus outbreak has largely put the presidential race on hold, with most upcoming primaries postponed and all in-person campaigning cancelled. The immediate political focus has shifted to stopping the pandemic and offering financial relief to struggling Americans. And in this moment, Sanders voice and vision seem to have had a resurgence.

His allies and supporters are convinced that, as the crisis has unfolded and the country suffers from record unemployment, the issues that the Vermont senator has long touted, like income inequality and "Medicare for All," will force the country to have a reckoning about its financial and healthcare systems. In other words, they're convinced the crisis is resuscitating Sanders' agenda.

Read more: https://www.npr.org/2020/03/29/822749003/facing-likely-defeat-bernie-sanders-campaign-found-a-new-cause

Tribes say persistent efforts pay off in massive stimulus

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — The sweeping bill that President Donald Trump signed will help better equip health care systems that serve Native Americans, improve the emergency response time on tribal lands, provide economic relief for tribal members, and help with food deliveries to low-income families and the elderly.

Tribes have been lobbying Congress to help address shortfalls in an already underfunded health care system and to ensure the federal government fulfills its obligation to them under treaties and other acts. While the $10 billion for tribes in the $2.2 trillion package is less than they requested, tribes say it represents progress.

“The silver lining is perhaps in the future we will have resources and the ability to really change those chronic disease trends in a meaningful way so our communities aren't impacted in such a devastating way in the future should something like this happen again,” said Jerilyn Church, chief executive of the Great Plains Tribal Chairmen's Health Board.

More than $1 billion will go to the Indian Health Service, a federal agency that provides primary medical care for more than two million Native Americans. About half of that amount will go to tribes and tribal organizations that have contracts with the federal government to run their own health care facilities.

Read more: https://www.santafenewmexican.com/ap/tribes-say-persistent-efforts-pay-off-in-massive-stimulus/article_772e3559-6d90-50ba-aef4-241a3f7e5936.html

Hotel Rooms For the Homeless in Santa Fe

New Mexicans have been told to stay home to stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus. But this is a tall order for those without a permanent roof over their heads. This week, homeless shelters in Santa Fe began using city and county funds to rent hotel rooms for some of the most at-risk members of the homeless population.

On Wednesday, Santa Fe City Council approved a $500,000 COVID-19 emergency response fund. Kyra Ochoa, the director of the city's Community Services Department, explained to councilors via video conference that $250,000 from the fund will be dedicated toward meeting the basic needs of Santa Feans who have been most immediately impacted by the crisis.

"The clear needs that we're seeing are what we call social determinants of people's health—need for shelter and housing, need for food, need for transportation and childcare for essential workers such as healthcare providers," Ochoa said, adding that the funds could be used to pay directly for things such as utilities, rent and medical bills.

The city plans to distribute the funds through the Santa Fe Connects Program. In partnership with the county, the program is an initiative to create a network of organizations providing essential services to Santa Fe residents. This includes homeless shelters, mental health providers, and food distribution services among others.

Read more: https://www.sfreporter.com/news/2020/03/28/hotel-rooms-for-the-homeless/

HHS Warns States Not To Put People With Disabilities At The Back Of The Line For Care

With coronavirus cases continuing to climb and hospitals facing the prospect of having to decide how to allocate limited staff and resources, the Department of Health and Human Services is reminding states and health care providers that civil rights laws still apply in a pandemic.

States are preparing for a situation when there's not enough care to go around by issuing "crisis of care" standards.

But disability groups are worried that those standards will allow rationing decisions that exclude the elderly or people with disabilities.

On Saturday, the HHS Office for Civil Rights put out guidance saying states, hospitals and doctors cannot put people with disabilities or older people at the back of the line for care.

Read more: https://www.kanw.com/post/hhs-warns-states-not-put-people-disabilities-back-line-care

State pension funds take billion-dollar hits

SANTA FE – New Mexico’s two large public retirement systems have already taken billion-dollar hits from a steep market downturn caused by actions taken in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

But the leaders of both pension funds say investment portfolio changes made in recent years have positioned the funds to ride out the storm – however long it lasts – and keep paying out benefits to retirees.

“We’ve lost money – every investor has – but we could have lost a lot more money if we hadn’t taken a more defensive position,” said Wayne Propst, executive director of the Public Employees Retirement Association.

He said the retirement fund’s value has dropped from about $16 billion in January to about $14 billion as of this week, though the market is fluctuating daily.

Read more: https://www.abqjournal.com/1437652/state-pension-funds-take-billiondollar-hits.html

New Mexico public schools closed for rest of year

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — New Mexico public schools will remain closed for the rest of the current academic year, and local districts and charters will be tasked with continuing to educate students from a distance – a colossal charge that will unfold in the coming weeks.

Public Education Secretary Ryan Stewart said Friday that a statewide school closure will be extended for the rest of the academic year, due to rising coronavirus infection rates.

“It’s quite clear that it’s not yet safe to be able to bring our students back into school,” Stewart said during a virtual news conference.

Public preschools and K-12 schools across the state were ordered to shut down effective March 16 to help stop the spread of COVID-19. Students were initially scheduled to go back to school April 6, though Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham recently warned that the closure could end up being even longer.

Read more: https://www.abqjournal.com/1437299/nm-public-schools-to-stay-closed-for-rest-of-year.html
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