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Gender: Male
Hometown: South Texas. most of my life I lived in Austin and Dallas
Home country: United States
Current location: Bryan, Texas
Member since: Sun Aug 14, 2011, 03:57 AM
Number of posts: 84,649

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

Tens of Thousands of California Child Care Providers Vote to Unionize

More than 40,000 child care providers across California can now bargain with the state for better pay and benefits after voting overwhelmingly to unionize on Monday.

The victory comes after years of fighting to win the right to bargain in an industry that is notorious for low pay and long hours.

"We want and deserve a seat at the table and the state will now recognize us," said Nancy Harvey, who runs a child care facility in West Oakland.

Ninety-seven percent of those babysitters, early childhood educators and home day care providers — mostly women of color — who voted by mail-in ballot, voted to become Child Care Providers United.

Read more: https://www.kqed.org/news/11830774/tens-of-thousands-of-california-child-care-providers-vote-to-unionize

Gov. Brown sets new metrics for reopening K-12 schools

Gov. Kate Brown announced new health and safety metrics school districts will be required to comply with as they look to return for in-person instruction in the fall.

The new requirements set clear tipping points based on county and statewide data of COVID-19 spread to determine when schools will need to move from on-site learning to a full distance learning model. Even schools planning on hybrid learning models or partial in-person teaching will have to go to just distance learning if their counties pass the threshold announced Tuesday, with some exceptions.

Based on Oregon Health Authority data, it appears there is only one county in Oregon that would meet the metrics for in-person instruction: Wheeler County.

“I am absolutely unwilling to lose an entire school year for any of our kids,” Brown said. “I will push. I will cajole, and I will demand nothing but excellence from our districts and our educators but it is also incumbent on all of us, every community, to take every measure to slow the spread of this disease, so that we can get our kids back into school as quickly as possible.”

Read more: https://www.registerguard.com/news/20200728/gov-brown-sets-new-metrics-for-reopening-k-12-schools
(Eugene Register Guard)

U.S., Oregon in talks about pulling agents in Portland

PORTLAND — The Trump administration has started talks with the Oregon governor’s office and indicated that it would begin to draw down the presence of federal agents sent to quell two months of chaotic protests in Portland if the state stepped up its own enforcement, a senior White House official said Tuesday.

The senior administration official stressed to The Associated Press that the talks with the office of Democratic Gov. Kate Brown are in the early stages and there is no agreement. The official was not authorized to publicly discuss private conversations and spoke on the condition of anonymity.

Brown didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday.

Just a day earlier, the U.S. Marshals Service and Department of Homeland Security were weighing whether to send in more agents. The marshals were taking steps to identify up to 100 additional personnel who could go in case they were needed to relieve or supplement the deputy marshals who work in Oregon, spokesman Drew Wade said.

Homeland Security was considering a similar measure with Customs and Border Protection agents, according to an administration official with direct knowledge of the plans who was not authorized to speak publicly about the plans and spoke to AP on condition of anonymity.

Read more: https://www.registerguard.com/news/20200728/source-us-oregon-in-talks-about-pulling-agents-in-portland
(Eugene Register Guard)

Oregonians respond to proposed state budget cuts as special session nears

Dozens of Oregonians voiced concerns about proposed state funding cuts during three days of committee hearings last week, the public's first opportunity to respond to a budget plan that eliminates $387 million in spending across state agencies.

Needing to rebalance the budget after the coronavirus pandemic disrupted the state's economy, slashing expected tax revenue, lawmakers decided to prioritize K-12 education funding while reconciling a $1.2 billion hole.

Despite deciding to dip into the state's emergency Education Stability Fund to the tune of $400 million, the proposed cuts remain extensive.

A special session of the Oregon Legislature is expected to convene within the first two weeks of August. Lawmakers previously returned to the Capitol for a three-day special session in late June to implement police accountability measures and respond to the coronavirus pandemic.

Read more: https://www.statesmanjournal.com/story/news/politics/2020/07/27/covid-19-oregonians-respond-proposed-state-budget-cuts-legislature-special-session-nears-salem/5509247002/
(Salem Statesman Journal)

Portland issues 'maximum fine' on feds for unpermitted fence outside courthouse; bill is $192,000

Portland issues ‘maximum fine’ on feds for unpermitted fence outside courthouse; bill is $192,000 ‘and counting’

Portland Commissioner Chloe Eudaly said Tuesday the city is fining the federal government $500 every 15 minutes – the maximum charge allowed -- until it removes an unpermitted fence blocking a bike lane on Southwest Third Avenue.

Eudaly, who oversees the transportation bureau, said the government hasn’t responded to her demand to remove the fence, which surrounds a portion of the federal courthouse. She said the bill is now $192,000 “and counting.”

“We intend to collect,” Eudaly, who is running for reelection, said in a tweeted statement. She also described the forces at the courthouse as “federal occupiers.”

The fence has become the centerpiece of nightly protests as the months-long marches and demonstrations devoted to racial justice and curbing police excesses escalated in recent days with the arrival of federal law enforcement teams staged at the courthouse.

Read more: https://www.oregonlive.com/politics/2020/07/portland-issues-maximum-fine-on-feds-for-unpermitted-fence-outside-courthouse-bill-is-192000-and-counting.html

ACLU Asks Judge to Find Federal Agents in Portland in Contempt of Court for Violating Order

The American Civil Liberties Union of Oregon on Tuesday asked U.S. District Judge Michael Simon to find federal agents in contempt of the court for violating a July 23 restraining order that prohibited the federal officers from attacking journalists and legal observers covering Portland protests.

The ACLU also asked Judge Simon to order acting Department of Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf and acting Deputy Secretary Ken Cuccinelli to "personally appear before the court and show cause as to why they should not be sanctioned for contempt."

It is also asking the judge to order "each federal agent who violated the restraining order to be identified, personally appear, and be prohibited from engaging in armed operations in Portland."

"Every day it has existed, federal agents have intentionally violated the court's [order]," the court filing says. "As a result of the federal agents' defiance of the court's order, the free press remains unsafe while trying to document and observe the cataclysmic violence that federal authorities are inflicting on Portland."

Read more: https://www.wweek.com/news/courts/2020/07/28/aclu-asks-judge-to-find-federal-agents-in-portland-in-contempt-of-court-for-violating-order/
(Williamette Week)

Portland Police Association Warns City Council New Police Oversight Proposal Is Illegal

On July 29, the Portland City Council will consider an ordinance proposed by Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty that would refer a charter change creating a new police oversight agency to the November ballot.

As WW reported last week, Hardesty proposes the formation of a new entity that would have greater access to police records; the ability to question officers directly; the authority to investigate fatal incidents; and a budget equal to 5% of the Portland Police Bureau's budget. In all those areas, the proposed agency would have more authority than the city's current oversight agency, the city auditor's Independent Police Review.

Today, the Portland Police Association, the union that represents more than 900 officers, detectives and sergeants, weighed in with objections to Hardesty's proposal.

In a five-page letter to the four City Council members and City Auditor Mary Hull Caballero, PPA president Daryl Turner said the proposal "is neither good public policy nor in the best interest of the citizens of Portland."

Read more: https://www.wweek.com/news/2020/07/27/the-portland-police-association-warns-city-council-new-police-oversight-proposal-is-illegal/
(Williamette Week)

Midland ISD board votes to change high school name honoring Confederate general Robert E. Lee

Midland ISD’s school board voted Monday night to change the name of its high school honoring Confederate general Robert E. Lee, following suit with decisions made by other school districts across the state.

The board, according to KTSM-TV, voted 6-1 to change the name of Robert E. Lee High School which is located about 330 miles west of Dallas. The board also voted to create a citizen’s committee, made up of students, parents and alumni, which will present recommended name changes to Midland ISD Superintendent Orlando Riddick.

“Voting to change the name was not an effort to erase history; instead remembering history is what caused us to change the name of the school that was so named in 1960 in a misguided attempt to honor such history at that particular time in our history,” Midland ISD school board president Rick Davis said in a statement, per KTSM-TV.

“But this decision was much more than simply righting a past wrong concerning the name of a high school. It was also about moving forward to reflect the character of our remarkable community.”

Read more: https://www.dallasnews.com/news/education/2020/07/28/midland-isd-board-votes-to-change-high-school-name-honoring-confederate-general-robert-e-lee/

Texas attorney general says local health authorities cannot "indiscriminately" shut down schools

by Aliyya Swaby, Texas Tribune

Local health officials do not have the authority to shut down all schools in their vicinity while COVID-19 cases rise, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said in nonbinding guidance Tuesday that contradicts what the Texas Education Agency has told school officials.

After Texas ordered schools to reopen their classrooms this fall, county and city public health officials began to push back, ordering all public and private schools in their areas to stay closed through August and in some cases September.

The officials cited a state law giving health officials authority to control communicable diseases. But Paxton said in the letter that "nothing in the law gives health authorities the power to indiscriminately close schools — public or private — as these local orders claim to do. ... It does not allow health authorities to issue blanket quarantine orders that are inconsistent with the law."

The governor’s executive order allowing all school districts to operate overrules local mandates to close, Paxton said. Local health officials have some authority to order schools closed if people in it are infected by COVID-19, but not as a preventive measure.

Read more: https://www.texastribune.org/2020/07/28/texas-schools-ken-paxton/

Eff you, Paxton. You belong in prison for the felonies you committed.

US attorney general may be using Assange case for political ends, court told

Source: The Guardian

The US attorney general, William Barr, may be using Julian Assange’s extradition case in the UK for political ends, the WikiLeaks founder’s defence team alleged during a court hearing at which he appeared by video link from prison for the first time in months.

It was a fact that Donald Trump had described the defence case as “a plot by the Democrats”, Edward Fitzgerald QC told the hearing at Westminster magistrates court.

Fitzgerald said a new superseding US indictment, produced months after the start of attempts in the UK to secure his extradition, had been “sprung” on his defence team.

The indictment, which had not yet been formally laid before the court, supersedes previous indictments brought in February and which related to 2010 and 2011.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/media/2020/jul/27/us-attorney-general-julian-assange-extradition-case-political-ends-uk-court-told
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