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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: 64,597

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

Wet California winter is a boon for skiers and water supply. But it brings a threat: Wildfires.

MAMMOTH LAKES — This early June morning is Boyd Shepler's birthday, No. 66, and he is spending it in a classic California way: a few hours of skiing in a snowflake-filled morning, then a round of golf in the dry afternoon sun.

The snow here in the Sierra Nevada is epic, packed into a base that is more than double the historic average for early summer. Here on Mammoth Mountain, the ski lifts will be running into August. At lower altitudes, a spring of atmospheric rivers and hard rain has filled the state's once-languishing reservoirs.

"The coverage at the top is as good as I have seen it in 30 years," said Shepler, stoked after skiing Hangman's Hollow in June for the first time in years before trading his waterproof pants for a pair of shorts and flip-flops. "We live for these summers up here."

But the bounty of California's have-it-both-ways climate has evolved into a can't-win challenge, something former governor Jerry Brown called the "new abnormal."

Read more: https://napavalleyregister.com/news/local/wet-california-winter-is-a-boon-for-skiers-and-water/article_4ce47939-9991-59ab-a92c-6ac66dcb6c2f.html

Las Vegas Cardiology Practice Agrees To Pay $2.5M Settlement Claim Involving Medicare Kickback

Las Vegas, NV – A Las Vegas cardiology practice has agreed to pay $2.5 million to settle claims alleging that it referred patients for genetic testing in exchange for kickbacks paid by the testing companies, announced U.S. Attorney Nicholas A. Trutanich for the District of Nevada.

“The U.S. Attorney’s Office will hold accountable fraudulent medical companies that seek to line their pockets by undermining the integrity of health care programs,” said U.S. Attorney Trutanich. “We work closely with our law enforcement partners to stop illicit activity and I encourage individuals with information of fraud to make a report to authorities.”

From September 1, 2012 to May 31, 2013, Nevada Heart & Vascular Center (Resh), LLP (NHVC) was alleged to have referred Medicare patients to genetic testing companies Natural Molecular Testing Corp. and Iverson Genetic Diagnostics, Inc., in exchange for payments to the practice made by the testing companies. The scheme was alleged to be in violation of the Anti-Kickback Statute and the civil False Claims Act.

NHVC has agreed to pay the United States $2.5 million to settle its potential liability in this matter.

Read more: https://www.justice.gov/usao-nv/pr/las-vegas-cardiology-practice-agrees-pay-25-million-settlement-claim-involving-medicare

Pain Foundation Founder and CEO Pleads Guilty to Fraud and Tax Charge Related to Embezzlement Scheme

John H. Durham, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, Kristina O’Connell, Special Agent in Charge of IRS Criminal Investigation in New England, and Brian C. Turner, Special Agent in Charge of the New Haven Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, today announced that PAUL GILENO, 46, of Brewster, New York, waived his right to be indicted and pleaded guilty yesterday before U.S. District Judge Victor A. Bolden in Bridgeport to fraud and tax evasion charges stemming from a $1.5 million embezzlement scheme.

According to court documents and statements made in court, Gileno was the founder and Chief Executive Officer of the United States Pain Foundation, a Middletown-based nonprofit organization designed to find support and resources for individuals with pain issues. Between approximately 2015 and 2017, Gileno embezzled more than $1.5 million from the foundation. He also failed to pay more than $532,943 in federal income taxes on the embezzled income, and other income, for the 2015 through 2017 tax years.

Gileno pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud, which carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years, and one count of tax evasion, which carries a maximum term of imprisonment of five years. Gileno also faces a fine, an order of full restitution to both the United States Pain Foundation and Internal Revenue Service, as well as tax penalties and interest. A sentencing date is not scheduled.

Gileno is released pending sentencing.

Read more: https://www.justice.gov/usao-ct/pr/pain-foundation-founder-and-ceo-pleads-guilty-fraud-and-tax-charge-related-embezzlement

Bicyclists can treat stop signs like yield signs, Oregon Senate says

Bicyclists may soon be able to treat stop signs like yield signs when it’s safe to do so.

The Oregon Senate voted 21-8 on Tuesday to allow bicyclists to legally treat stop signs or intersections with flashing red signals as a yield sign, meaning they would not be required to come to a complete stop.

Senate Bill 998 says bicyclists can legally proceed through an intersection or make a turn in either direction without stopping as long as they slow to a “safe speed, yield the right of way to pedestrians, and yield to traffic that is already in the intersection or approaching “so close as to constitute an immediate hazard.”

The bill now moves to the House of Representatives for approval

Read more: https://www.oregonlive.com/commuting/2019/06/bicyclists-can-treat-stop-signs-like-yield-signs-oregon-senate-says.html

Lawmakers looking to limit bill introductions to streamline workload

In recent Oregon legislative sessions, fewer than one bill out of three introduced actually becomes law, many because there isn't time to consider them.

Worried the Legislature is spending too much time on bills going nowhere, lawmakers are beginning to seriously consider limiting the number of bills they can introduce each regular session.

This could lighten the workload of legislative lawyers, and some lawmakers believe that having fewer bills would allow them to focus on fine-tuning the most important pieces of legislation.

"If you have limits and the magnitude of the number of bills isn’t as great, I think you can truly hold public hearings and work sessions," Senate President Peter Courtney, D-Salem, said. "When a bill goes out, you think it’s really been worked.”

Read more: https://www.statesmanjournal.com/story/news/politics/2019/06/17/oregon-legislature-discuss-plan-limit-bills-legislative-sessions/1335302001/

A Lawsuit Against an Old Town Nightclub Owner Brings Forth Incendiary Allegations of Racism

A racial discrimination lawsuit that settled in Portland on the eve of a scheduled June 17 trial contained allegations that an Old Town nightclub operator went to elaborate lengths to limit the number of black patrons in his clubs.

Prior to the settlement, lawyers for the plaintiff, Samuel Thompson, entered into the record at Multnomah County Circuit Court eye-catching allegations from former employees of nightclubs partly owned by Chris Lenahan.

"Lenahan would use the term 'flamingo' over the radios to signal each other and talk about black and African American people," Artie Haws, a former bartender for Lenahan said in a sworn statement. "For example, Chris Lenahan would radio to security: 'No more flamingos. We're at capacity.'"

In the lawsuit, Samuel Thompson, a Portland nightclub promoter who is black, sued Lenahan and his company Vegasstars, alleging that Thompson was refused entry to the Dirty Nightlife on May 25, 2017, because of his race.

Read more: https://www.wweek.com/news/courts/2019/06/18/a-lawsuit-against-an-old-town-nightclub-owner-brings-forth-incendiary-allegations-of-racism/
(Williamette Week)

Democrats pass cap-and-trade bill in Oregon House

SALEM — Oregon is on the precipice of becoming the second state, after California, to adopt a cap-and-trade program, a market-­based approach to lowering the greenhouse gas emissions behind global warming.

The House approved House Bill 2020 on a 36-24 vote Monday night after nearly six hours of debate, with supporters calling it the United States’ most progressive climate policy. Rep. Karin Power, D-Milwaukie and one of two key lawmakers behind the measure, said it not only cuts emissions but invests in moving the state economy and infrastructure to better prepare for more intense weather events tied to climate change.

“This is the fight of our lifetime that has been discussed for far too long with far too little action,” she said. “Action must become part of our collective national fabric and normalized as we recognize the crisis before us and step up to the challenge.”

Republican representatives from Central Oregon — Cheri Helt, of Bend; Mike McLane, of Powell Butte; and Jack Zika, of Redmond — all voted “no.”

Read more: https://www.bendbulletin.com/localstate/7238997-151/democrats-pass-cap-and-trade-bill-in-oregon-house

All 7 public universities raising tuition in Oregon

SALEM — All seven of Oregon’s public universities will raise tuition for the 2019-20 school year, with officials citing increased costs and less money than expected from legislators.

The hikes range from 2.33% at Western Oregon University in Monmouth to 9.9% at Ashland’s Southern Oregon University.

Gov. Kate Brown had made education a priority of this legislative session, repeatedly saying that she wanted to create a “seamless system of education from cradle to career.” The Democrat expressed disappointment that higher education wasn’t involved in a $2 billion increase for K-12 schools that legislators approved earlier this year, and she has continued to push the Legislature to increase university budgets to avoid tuition increases higher than 5%.

Legislators recommended a two-year higher-education budget of $836.9 million. That is $100 million more than last biennium, though schools like the University of Oregon said they needed at least $120 million more to keep tuition increases below 5%. The University of Oregon will raise tuition 6.91% next school year.

Read more: https://www.bendbulletin.com/localstate/7238996-151/all-7-public-universities-raising-tuition-in-oregon

645,000 Clients Affected In State Human Services Data Breach

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Oregon Department of Human Services officials say they are notifying about 645,000 clients whose personal information is at risk from a January data breach.

The Statesman-Journal reports state officials announced the notifications Tuesday and will start mailing them Wednesday.

People affected were enrolled in the department's welfare and children services programs at the time of the breach. Officials said the compromised data includes personal health information, but it's unknown if was viewed or inappropriately used.

The state is also providing 12 months of identity theft monitoring and recovery services, which includes a $1 million insurance reimbursement policy to impacted individuals.

Read more: https://hosted.ap.org/dailycourier/article/b3e89a3d165c410aa85cd33d30dc283d/645000-clients-affected-state-human-services-data-breach

PG&E to pay $1 billion for wildfire damage

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A California utility blamed for igniting several wildfires caused by downed power lines that killed dozens and destroyed thousands of homes agreed Tuesday to pay $1 billion in damages to local governments.

Attorneys representing 14 local public entities announced the settlement with Pacific Gas & Electric to cover "taxpayer losses."

More than half of the settlement is related to the 2018 fire in Northern California that killed 85 people and destroyed more than 13,000 homes. It included $270 million to the town of Paradise, which was mostly destroyed in the fire.

The money also covers damage from a 2015 in Butte County and a series of 2017 fires in Northern California wine country

Read more: https://www.heraldandnews.com/news/local_news/business/pg-e-to-pay-billion-for-wildfire-damage/article_70972aa5-7668-5fcb-a8ad-a9b71dc25c6f.html
(Klamath Falls Herald and News)
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