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TexasTowelie

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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: 67,596

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

Alaska senators get behind bill to clean up America's trashed coastlines

WASHINGTON — Alaska's U.S. senators and a bipartisan group of colleagues introduced a bill Wednesday aimed at managing the problem of marine debris off America's coasts and in inland waterways.

A new bill introduced in the Senate on Wednesday would provide a route to funnel more money to states plagued by marine debris — the millions of tons of trash that drifts toward U.S. shores, littering coastlines and tangling in fishing nets.

The bill focuses on using the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's authority to authorize more funding for cleanup and response to marine debris. Like declaring a disaster, a governor could request a declaration — and matching funds — from the NOAA administrator.

The bill also encourages the State Department to engage with countries responsible for much of the world's marine debris and focus on reducing the trash going into the ocean.

Read more: https://www.adn.com/politics/2017/03/29/alaska-senators-introduce-bipartisan-marine-debris-bill/

Alaska purchase was just part of Seward's legacy

William H. Seward regarded the purchase of Alaska as his greatest achievement and Alaskans are prone to agree. But biographers from Outside say Seward's other accomplishments were far more critical to the continuation of the United States as a whole.

We observe the 150th anniversary of our country's acquisition of Russian America this year. It's worth noting things Seward did that contributed as much to the survival of the Union as the strategies of Abraham Lincoln or the battles of Ulysses S. Grant.

The ‘Secession Winter’


In November 1860, after Lincoln was elected president with less than 40 percent of the popular vote, Southern states declared independence and began arming for war. President James Buchanan was warned that Washington, D.C., was in imminent danger of falling to forces opposed to Lincoln taking office. But no soldiers could be spared; Congress had refused funds to increase the nation's army. The lame-duck president was unable to take action to protect the capital and the president-elect could do nothing until his inauguration the following March.

For four months the seat of the national government was thus exposed to a serious threat of invasion. It would not have taken much of a rabble to seize the Capitol Building, the Treasury and War offices, White House and other buildings.

Read more: https://www.adn.com/opinions/2017/03/30/alaska-purchase-was-just-part-of-sewards-legacy/

Federal immigration officials arrest 4 in Anchorage during weekend operation

Four people in Alaska were among 84 foreign nationals arrested over the weekend and on Monday as part of a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement operation in the Pacific Northwest, ICE officials announced Thursday.

The four Alaska arrests were all made in Anchorage, said ICE spokeswoman Rose Richeson.

"Those individuals targeted for immigration enforcement in Alaska had prior convictions for forgery, fraud and assault," Richeson said. They were from Western Samoa, Philippines, Laos and Mexico, she said.

She said the agency could not provide more detailed information on the individuals, including their names, despite the criminal convictions.

Read more: https://www.adn.com/alaska-news/crime-courts/2017/03/30/federal-immigration-enforcement-agency-arrests-4-in-anchorage-during-weekend-operation/

Oklahoma Bar Association Opens Investigation of Ex-AG Pruitt

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The Oklahoma Bar Association has opened an investigation into an ethics complaint against former state Attorney General Scott Pruitt, now administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, according to a letter from the association's general counsel.

The complaint, filed by the Center for Biological Diversity, a nonprofit organization that works to protect endangered species, and associate professor Kristen van de Biezenbos of the University of Oklahoma College of Law, says Pruitt may have violated the Oklahoma Rules of Professional Conduct when he told a U.S. Senate committee at his confirmation hearings in January that he only used his attorney general's email address to conduct official business.

The complaint, dated March 21, says documents released by the attorney general's office through an Open Records Act lawsuit in Oklahoma seem to contradict Pruitt's sworn testimony and indicate Pruitt also used a personal email address to conduct official business.

"It appears that Mr. Pruitt misrepresented material facts that bore on the Senate committee's analysis of Mr. Pruitt's fitness to serve as EPA Administrator," the complaint states.

Read more: https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/oklahoma/articles/2017-03-30/oklahoma-bar-association-opens-investigation-of-ex-ag-pruitt

Coast Guard creates 300 meter safety zone near lava

On Tuesday, it began enforcing a “temporary safety zone” that requires vessels to stay at least 300 meters (984 feet) from the ocean entry through Sept. 28.

The Coast Guard cites hazards such as the unstable sea cliff, volcanic shrapnel and toxic gases as reasons for the restriction, which could become permanent.

“According to the (Hawaiian Volcano Observatory), large and dense fragments ejected during delta collapses can be thrown in all directions from the point of collapse, including out to sea,” the Coast Guard said in a press release.

Shane Tarpin of Lava Ocean Tours said he sees the safety zone as unnecessary and that it will hurt his business.

Read more: http://www.westhawaiitoday.com/news/local-news/coast-guard-creates-300-meter-safety-zone-near-lava

Man Stabs His Girlfriend More Than Two Dozen Times Because She Refused an Abortion

A Hawaii jury convicted a man of murdering his ex-girlfriend in December after prosecutors said he stabbed her to death for refusing to abort their unborn child.

Steven Capobianco, of Maui, was supposed to be sentenced on Friday for second-degree murder and arson, Hawaii News Now reports. According to the report, Capobianco could face 20 years to life in prison.

According to police, the ex-girlfriend, Charli Scott, was five months pregnant with their unborn child when she was killed. Prosecutors said Capobianco lured her to a remote area, claiming that his truck had broken down, and then tortured and stabbed her about 20 times; police said he also set fire to her vehicle. Prosecutors alleged that Capobianco murdered Scott in revenge for her refusing to have an abortion.

The report does not mention her unborn child who also was killed in the attack. It does not appear that there were any charges in connection to the unborn child’s death.

Read more: http://www.hawaiifreepress.com/ArticlesMain/tabid/56/ID/19397/Maui-Man-Stabs-Girlfriend-to-Death-Because-She-Refused-Abortion.aspx

After debate gets heated, assisted-suicide bill is defeated in Hawaii

HONOLULU, Hawaii, March 27, 2017 — The Hawaii state House of Representatives effectively killed a proposed “Medical Aid in Dying Act” last week.

The Hawaii State Senate Committee on Commerce, Consumer Protection and Health recommended passage of SB-1129, but after heated debate the state's House Health Committee "deferred" it for changes and amendments.

Patterned after Oregon’s assisted-suicide law, the Medical Aid in Dying Act would transform killing a patient into a legal medical treatment for terminal illness.

SB-1129 expands its prototype Oregon law in many ways, including allowing certain nurses, not just licensed physicians, to both diagnose a patient's terminal illness and to prescribe the lethal drugs to kill him or her.

Read more: http://www.hawaiifreepress.com/ArticlesMain/tabid/56/ID/19405/Hawaii-Suicide-Bill-Would-Have-Let-Nurses-Diagnose-Fatal-Illness-and-Prescribe-Death-Pills.aspx

Complaint filed over loosened liquor rules for Maui County

A Sunshine Law complaint has been filed against the Maui County Liquor Control Commission for allegedly providing insufficient notice to the public about recent rule changes that include eliminating dry hours for liquor sales at retail stores countywide.

The complaint filed Sunday by Kihei resident Madge Schaefer requests that the state Office of Information Practices investigate whether the commission violated the Sunshine Law in its published agenda for its Feb. 8 meeting, at which the commission approved new rules allowing liquor licensees, such as supermarkets and liquor stores, to sell alcohol past the former 11 p.m. deadline.

“These new rules constitute major, sweeping changes and do not in any way fall under the description of ‘housekeeping,’ ” she said Wednesday. “It sweeps the item under the rug. It is a classic example of circumventing the very essence of the open meeting laws. These new rules go against community values and fly in the face of common sense.”

The rules were adopted during the commission’s Feb. 8 meeting and signed into law by Maui County Mayor Alan Arakawa on Feb. 21. Minor amendments to the new rules were adopted at a March 8 hearing.

Read more: http://www.mauinews.com/news/local-news/2017/03/complaint-filed-over-loosened-liquor-rules/

Thirty Meter Telescope signs deal for backup site

The developer of the Thirty Meter Telescope signed a 75-year agreement with officials in the Canary Islands Wednesday giving the international consortium the right to construct and operate the giant telescope on the island of La Palma if Mauna Kea doesn’t work out.

The hosting agreement between the TMT International Observatory and Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias clears a “major milestone” in securing the alternative site near the summit of La Palma’s highest mountain, according to a news release.

“This is an important step for TMT,” TMT Executive Director Ed Stone said. “We want to ensure we have by April 2018 a site suitable to start construction should Mauna Kea not be feasible. We now have a signed agreement and are moving ahead with the appropriate government approvals so that everything will be in place if needed.”

In addition to the April 2018 construction target date, TMT officials say they need “reasonably assured access” to Hawaii’s tallest mountain by the fall of this year.

Read more: http://www.staradvertiser.com/2017/03/30/hawaii-news/thirty-meter-telescope-signs-deal-for-backup-site/?HSA=d481bbdaf4ac5a9f758dbb59d95aa21cd8fcbf00

Cross-posted in the Hawaii Group.

Thirty Meter Telescope signs deal for backup site

The developer of the Thirty Meter Telescope signed a 75-year agreement with officials in the Canary Islands Wednesday giving the international consortium the right to construct and operate the giant telescope on the island of La Palma if Mauna Kea doesn’t work out.

The hosting agreement between the TMT International Observatory and Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias clears a “major milestone” in securing the alternative site near the summit of La Palma’s highest mountain, according to a news release.

“This is an important step for TMT,” TMT Executive Director Ed Stone said. “We want to ensure we have by April 2018 a site suitable to start construction should Mauna Kea not be feasible. We now have a signed agreement and are moving ahead with the appropriate government approvals so that everything will be in place if needed.”

In addition to the April 2018 construction target date, TMT officials say they need “reasonably assured access” to Hawaii’s tallest mountain by the fall of this year.

Read more: http://www.staradvertiser.com/2017/03/30/hawaii-news/thirty-meter-telescope-signs-deal-for-backup-site/?HSA=d481bbdaf4ac5a9f758dbb59d95aa21cd8fcbf00

Cross-posted in the Science Group.
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