Julien Gignac APTN National NewsOTTAWA — Three Aboriginal senators’ claims were included in a highly anticipated audit of Senate expenses released Tuesday by Auditor General Michael Ferguson.Retired Senator Gerry St. Germain who represented British Columbia is one of four senators whose case could be forwarded to the RCMP for further investigation.Germain’s expense claims equated to $55,588 in travel costs, according to the report. Spotty documentation has caused at least $12,000 to be ill-accounted for.Each Senator named in the report was able to respond to the findings.Germain stated in the report that he disagrees with the findings, saying that the “presentation and tone of your general observations insinuate that I misappropriated my office resources in a nefarious manner. I find these apparent accusations to be a defamatory affront to my personal integrity.”Northwest Territories Senator Nick Sibbeston racked up $50,102, the bulk of which was used for travel, too, states the report. Nine instances of extended stopovers were recorded, along with frequent trips to western Canada and independent trips made by his spouse.One night stopovers are considered to be a “reasonable practice,” says the report.Sibbeston’s comments allude to the “casual” and sometimes “spontaneous” nature of business meetings in the territory and that northern travel is expensive at best. He goes on to state, “perhaps I could have been better at keeping records.”New Brunswick Maliseet Senator Sandra Nicholas-Lovelace bill totaled $75,227, the majority of which was used for travel-related purposes incuding trips where she stayed in Fredericton for longer than one night.“These extended stays, some as long as nine nights, is a matter of convenience for individuals travelling to Fredericton to meet with her,” Nicholas-Lovelace stated in the report.Nicholas Lovelace has filed for arbitration.The report recommends creating an oversight body that is independent from the senate, stating that it should have complete access and power to conduct internal or external audits. The inner-workings of this body should be open to the public, its findings published on its website.Whether the Senate accepts the Auditor General’s recommendations is yet to be determined.Senate Speaker Leo Housakos addressing the media Tuesday. Photo Julien Gignac/APTN“Our intent is to render the Senate of Canada an accountable, responsive, transparent legislature,” said Senate Speaker Leo Housakos during a press conference after the report was released. “A body that our citizens of our great country will and can respect.”30 sitting and former senators exercised expenditures Auditor General Michael Ferguson “determined were not in accordance with the applicable senate rules, policies, or guidelines,” states the report.The Senate develops its own system of self-governance and determine what will be disclosed to the public.“In our current audit,” the report states, “we found that in many cases, Senators did not maintain records to document the parliamentary business that they conducted while spending public funds.”Senators must keep track of what they spend, “including hospitality events, attendees of those events a recipients of gifts with a value that exceeds $50,” according to the report.Close to $1-million in public funds were used to accommodate the spending habits of the Senate.Beginning on April 1, 2011 and ending March 31, 2013, the audit examined 116 current and former senators. There are 105 current Canadian senators.Two other Aboriginal Senators, Lillian Dyck of Saskatchewan and Charlie Watt of Quebec are not named in the firstname.lastname@example.org
30 July 2008In a bid to have the United Nations lead by example, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today unveiled “Cool UN,” a three-pronged initiative which seeks to limit the use of air conditioning, slash greenhouse gas emissions and save money. In a bid to have the United Nations lead by example, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today unveiled “Cool UN,” a three-pronged initiative which seeks to limit the use of air conditioning, slash greenhouse gas emissions and save money. The new programme – which will begin this Friday – will raise the thermostats at the Secretariat building in New York by five degrees from 72 to 77 degrees Fahrenheit in most parts of the landmark building, and will shut down the heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems over the weekend. “We have succeeded in moving climate change to the top of the international agenda for action, and this means that the UN must take action itself,” said Mr. Ban. The one-month-long scheme during August is expected to cut the UN’s carbon dioxide emissions by 300 tons, a 10 per cent reduction in energy consumption for the air conditioning systems. This will also result in savings of more than $100,000 by cutting back on the use of steam by over 4,000 million pounds. As part of “Cool UN,” the Secretary-General is encouraging both personnel and delegates to dress less formally, including by having men leave their ties off. “Let us have some fun – while at the same time we make a contribution to reducing global emissions,” he said. Depending on how successful the scheme is, the project could be extended, with the thermostats being lowered 5 degrees Fahrenheit during the winter months. “We estimate that the monthly winter reduction would be somewhat larger than the monthly summer reduction,” Michael Adlerstein, Executive Director of the Capital Master Plan (CMP), told reporters today. He said that the initiative could save the UN some $1 million annually and slash its carbon dioxide emissions by 2,800 tons. “Cool UN” will only go into effect in New York, given that climate conditions vary from duty station to duty station, according to Janos Pasztor, Director of Mr. Ban’s Climate Change Support Team. The UN’s Nairobi offices are not air-conditioned, while Geneva’s offices are cooled for only a few days out of the year, he said. Mr. Pasztor said that negotiations to conclude a successor pact to the Kyoto Protocol must continue, “but we also need to reflect on our lifestyles and the way we live and the way we work.”
The United Nations has released over $3 million in emergency relief funding in response to the devastation caused by torrential rains in southern Africa, which have led to the deaths of over one hundred people and left tens of thousands homeless, the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said today.The majority of the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) disbursement, some $2.3 million, will go to a number of UN agencies providing urgent relief to victims of severe flooding in Angola, where the death toll has climbed to 60 since the beginning of the year.OCHA reported that in Angola alone the floods have affected an estimated 220,000 people, forced 81,000 from their homes, destroyed around 4,000 houses and inundated 231,000 hectares of cropland.The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the Word Health Organization (WHO) will use the money to finance the supply of safe water and provide public sanitation, support for displaced communities and health projects.Meanwhile, the President of the Comoros declared a national emergency after floods killed two people, and an estimated 500 households – roughly 2,500 people – have been affected in 41 villages that are underwater.In addition, water tanks have been polluted and toilets are overflowing, creating concerns for the spread of waterborne diseases. There is also significant infrastructure damage, especially to roads and bridges. The UN Resident Coordinator convened a meeting with development partners to discuss response measures.Namibia has also been hit hard by the flooding, which has killed some 92 people and displaced 54,581, while more than 350,000 people have been affected by the rising waters. Over 50 per cent of roads have also been damaged in the affected areas and at least 412 schools damaged and disrupted, including 159 closed, interrupting the education of over 56,106 pupils.The Namibian Government has allocated $11 million in response to the crisis, establishing 21 relocation camps in the affected regions and distributing non-food relief supplies, to go with a $2.7 million Flash Appeal launched by the UN – which includes a $1.3 million CERF component that has been fully funded.In Zambia, where an estimated 600,000 people are affected by flooding, an OCHA assessment report contains detailed recommendations on responding to urgent infrastructure, health, water and sanitation, agriculture, food security and shelter requirements. 30 April 2009The United Nations has released over $3 million in emergency relief funding in response to the devastation caused by torrential rains in southern Africa, which have led to the deaths of over one hundred people and left tens of thousands homeless, the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said today.
by The Canadian Press Posted Dec 14, 2015 10:06 am MDT Last Updated Dec 14, 2015 at 10:40 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email John Tory says it would be impractical for Toronto to try to shut down Uber TORONTO – Toronto Mayor John Tory says it would be impractical for the city to try to shut down Uber, which is preparing to launch another ride-sharing service called uberHOP on Tuesday.UberHop will be a rush-hour, carpool option that links some of Toronto’s busiest neighbourhoods to the downtown business district for a flat $5 fee.Tory says there’s no point trying to judge if Uber’s expansion is good or bad for Toronto, and calls it another convenient and affordable option for consumers and a marketplace response to a reality.He says Uber has over 300,000 users and 15,000 drivers in Toronto, and it would not be practical to try to force the company to cease operations until new regulations are enacted.Tory says lawyers are gathering more evidence about Uber, but so far are not recommending the city make a second attempt for an injunction to shut it down.Hundreds of cab drivers tied up traffic throughout Toronto’s downtown core for about 12 hours last Wednesday to protest Uber’s ride-hailing service and demand the city enforce its bylaws.Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne says technology is helping create many new services, and governments must determine how best to update regulations to ensure fairness and safety.“This is technology that exists, it’s a reality, and our responsibility is to make sure that we keep up in terms of keeping clients safe and having the regulations in place,” Wynne said after meeting Tory.“This is part of a sharing economy that is posing challenges to the status quo…and we need to make sure people have efficient, effective and safe services.”Canada’s taxi industry launched a new app Monday called “The Ride” that offers passengers a more tech-savvy way to connect with local taxi cabs, but unlike Uber, it will add a $1 or $2 charge from your wireless provider.Follow @CPnewsboy on Twitter
Meanwhile, Mr. Ban’s Special Representative for West Africa, Mohamed Ibn Chambas, is coordinating with the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the African Union and other international partners to support and safeguard the transition in Burkina Faso.On Saturday, the UN envoy met with Burkinabé President Michel Kafando at his residence, as well as the Chairman of ECOWAS, President Sall, and other regional leaders.Today, Mr. Chambas is in Abuja, Nigeria, ahead of the ECOWAS Extraordinary Summit that is scheduled for Tuesday to discuss the situation in Burkina Faso.The Secretary-General is following closely the ongoing regional mediation efforts towards the resolution of the crisis and spoke with Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade over the weekend.Mr. Ban reiterated his demand for the swift resumption of the country’s political transition in accordance with Burkina Faso’s Constitution and Transitional Charter, saying “those responsible for the coup d’etat and its consequences must be held accountable,” his spokesman told reporters at UN Headquarters.The Secretary-General is following with “great concern” the situation in Burkina Faso and strongly condemns reports of violence against civilians, which has resulted in an unconfirmed number of deaths and injuries, said spokesman Stéphane Dujarric.
← Previous Story New ASOBAL Record – 12743 spectators, Dujshebaev: “Fans were amazing” Next Story → WCh in Brasil 2011: Russia, Angola, Spain and Norway in 1/4 Final THW Kiel wins derby match against HSV Hamburg 30:25 (15:12) in front of 10285 spectators in “Sparkasse Arena”. Crucial part of the match was last five minutes when “Zebras” made 5-0 serie and got a new two points, with whom difference between them and HSV is now 8 points. One of the main person of the match was Momir Ilic with fantastic 7-meter serie (8/8), who was the most efficient with 10 goals.THW Kiel: Omeyer (15/2 saves, 1.-60.); Palicka (2/2 )Ilic 10/8, Jicha 5, Ahlm 4, Klein 3, Sprenger 3, Palmarsson 2, Narcisse 1, Andersson 1, Zeitz 1, Lundström n.e., Kubes n.e., Reichmann n.e.HSV Handball: Bitter (15 saves., 1.-60.), Beutler;Lindberg 9/4, Vori 4, Duvnjak 3, Flohr 3, Lijewski 2, Lackovic 2, B. Gille 1, Hens 1, Jansen, G. Gille, Vugrinec, Schröder n.e. Momir IlicTHW Kiel
Just days after author Will Kostakis came out as being gay on his blog, he was contacted by De La Salle College in Sydney’s southwest to inform him that a talk he was scheduled to give on his latest novel The Sidekicks would be inappropriate.In the blog post, the author reflects on the experience of finding out that one of his ex-partners had cancer. Realising he could possibly lose someone he cared about dearly, the young writer was inspired to be honest about his sexual orientation. Following the post, one of the school’s staff members emailed Mr Kostakis, expressing concerns about the book, which features a gay character. “We have a concern about promoting your new book at our school as it is a Catholic school,” the email reads. “We were reading over your blog and I think it might not be appropriate, and parents might not be happy.”The teacher went on to clarify that it was “nothing personally against” the author but that it just wasn’t “appropriate”.“I’d like to say I was surprised, but it was always something that was in the back of my head as a possibility, and it was certainly a fear of mine,” Mr Kostakis told Neos Kosmos.The 26-year-old spoke at the same school last year to promote his previous novel, The First Third, which also openly dealt with gay themes, including casual sex in the gay community and the use of dating apps. Although he admits that it “felt like a risk when I was writing it” it was an experience he knew a lot of people would connect with. “The fact that they embraced The First Third so wholeheartedly, it was just very strange to get this response for The Sidekicks,” he said.The themes of his latest novel have never been hidden, with a segment made public in the middle of last year. While there is a scene where two boys kiss, he says it is a minor sub-plot of the book, which is about three very different boys and the ways in which they deal with a close friend’s death. “I think no matter what religion you are, no matter what school you go to, that kind of story is important,” Mr Kostakis said, adding that literature can often be the best way for young people to encounter various issues, as it is carefully crafted with the best interests of the child in mind. With his books targeted at students aged 12 and above, his school talks are tailored depending on the age group and their maturity level, but he is clear about the fact that his “sexuality is not the subject of my speeches”.“The thing is, we wouldn’t say you can’t read a book about someone of a different religion or about someone of a different race. It isn’t a manual to teach kids how to lead a different lifestyle, it’s just encouraging them to understand that people live lives that are different to theirs,” he explains. While the school banned Mr Kostakis from talking about The Sidekicks, they offered him the option to re-promote his earlier book again. “We still absolutely want you in June, but if possible can you please do the same talk as last year with focus on becoming an author and The First Third?”Mr Kostakis declined to take part however, stating in his reply “that is not something I will accept for the promise of a pay cheque”.“It’s the fear running through organisations like this that’s underestimating kids’ ability to make their own decisions,” he told Neos Kosmos.“It wasn’t a blog post about being gay, it’s a post about treating people with love and respect and cherishing them while they’re here. At the end of the day, if you have a religion, that’s what is at the core of it. It’s about loving one another.” Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram
An annual rally of vintage automobiles, including motorised beauties with royal histories, organised by a private heritage trust may soon be scaled up with government backing to promote India as a preferred motoring tourism destination. This vintage car rally may ride on ‘Incredible India’ next year.“India had one of the largest numbers of these cars thanks to the maharajas and their love for automobiles. Events like these vintage rallies are a great opportunity to also promote India as a preferred motoring tourism destination, which is yet untapped,” said Suman Billa, Joint Secretary, Tourism Ministry. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’“So, we are considering lending our logo and ‘Incredible India’ brand to this event, since through these platforms we seek to bring all like-minded stakeholders under one roof, which would eventually help in promoting tourism and conservation of such vintage automobiles,” says Billa.Madan Mohan, founder of the rally, which began in 2011, says, “125 hand-picked cars” from home and abroad will be the primary attraction of the rally, during which these beauties will be paraded from the Red Fort to the Buddha F1 Racing Circuit. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixMohan who is also the Chairman and Managing Trustee of the 21 Gun Salute Heritage and Cultural Trust that
Christmas is coming and it’s time for Santa sightings.Based on one video posted online, it looks like the fat man is upgrading his mode of transportation from reindeer to drones.A recent video shows an obscenely massive drone that’s capable of pulling a human in a santa suit on a snowboard. The video is incredible. Santa can shred. It’s also set to Shimmy Shimmy Ya by ODB, so bonus points.Drones are here to stay, even for jolly old St. Nick. Here’s the video: Advertisement
Comments Share Offensively, Woodson was a high impact player, averaging 17.6 yards on 14 touches and scored three touchdowns. Two of the touchdowns were receptions and one was a run. Woodson even completed a pass to Brian Griese in a game against Wisconsin. On special teams, Woodson returned 33 punts for 283 yards and one TD. Peterson can similarly impact the Cardinals in all phases. The big question is will he have the same platform Woodson performed on? Michigan earned a split of the National Championship that season. Woodson came up with multiple huge plays in high profile games — against Penn State when both teams were in the top 5, against Michigan State and of course the Ohio State game, where he returned a punt for a TD, had an interception in the end zone and set up another score with a long reception.The Cardinals currently have just one nationally televised game on the schedule. Peterson needs the Cards to be one of the surprise teams in the league and get more national coverage. Remember, the NFL has a flex schedule for weeks 11 through 17; three of Arizona’s final four games are against the Rams, Seahawks and 49ers. If both teams are fighting for a wild card or the division the Cards could end up as the Sunday night game on NBC. Arizona Cardinals star Patrick Peterson doesn’t lack confidence in himself. The third-year cornerback has set a lofty goal heading into the 2013 NFL season. I think my goal is to be an MVP of the league. I am the top cornerback in the game, and now that Bruce Arians is giving me the opportunity to play offense and special teams, I’ll have the best opportunity to capture that goal and dream of mine.That was at the top of Peterson’s list in a story on Peter King’s new football website, TheMMQB.com. The question — is it a realistic goal? With a litany of high-level quarterbacks on teams projected to be extremely good, the task won’t be easy. Since the Associated Press started giving out the MVP Award in 1957, only twice has a defensive player earned the hardware — Giants outside linebacker Lawrence Taylor in 1986 and Vikings defensive tackle Alan Page in 1971. In every other year a quarterback or running back has won outside of a kicker winning in 1982 (I swear, I’m not lying). That makes the goal seem even more difficult. Here are three reasons, if another defensive player is going to win the MVP, Patrick Peterson would be atop the list.#1 Flash Plays Peterson can do things on a football field that will get played over and over again during the 24-hour sports news cycle. I actually don’t think this is a really good reason, but it’s the truth. In 2009, New York Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis had arguably the best season a defensive back has ever had and he didn’t even win Defensive Player of the Year. Green Bay Packers corner Charles Woodson, who had three defensive touchdowns, nine interceptions, four fumbles forced and one fumble recovery was given the honor. Those game-swinging plays are all well and good, but Woodson wasn’t even close to being in the same class as Revis during that season. A huge performance on that stage can go a long way in influencing voters. It’s a long shot, but based on these factors, if a defensive player was going to win MVP this season, Patrick Peterson would be the one I would pick. Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Top Stories The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Peterson will need to combine what Revis and Woodson did to win the award. #2 Importance of the PositionAfter edge pass rushers, cornerback has become the most important position on the defensive side of the ball. In 2009, when Revis wasn’t in the MVP talk despite his incredible season, teams threw the ball an average of 532.3 times over the course of the year. Last year the number went up to 555.9.The position has also become harder to play because of rules limiting contact. All of this has made the value of top-notch corners increase.#3 The Charles Woodson HeismanThis is the best argument for Peterson being able to earn MVP. It’s a different level, but the idea of a defensive player winning college football’s top honor is just as unique as a defensive player winning the NFL’s top honor. Since the Heisman was first presented in 1935, Michigan’s Charles Woodson is the only primarily defensive player to win the award.What makes the Woodson-Peterson comparison applicable is the role Woodson held with Michigan that season. He was utilized on offense, defense and special teams. Defensively, he was dominant, intercepting eight passes.
On Sept. 24 during the Monaco Yacht Show, Osvaldo Patrizzi, president and CEO of Patrizzi & Co, will conduct a live auction of 34 one-of-a-kind timepieces specially created by leading Swiss watch brands to raise money for research into Duchene Muscular Dystrophy. Two previous auctions, held in 2005 and 2007, raised more than $6 million. Prince Albert II of Monaco has supported the benefit, for the Monagesque Association against Muscular Dystrophy, since its inception in 2001.A public preview exhibition will be held in New York at Tourneau TimeMachine, 57th Street at Madison Avenue, from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m., Thurs.–Sat., Sept. 10-12.The auction will begin at 6 p.m. (12 p.m. EDT) Thursday, Sept. 24, in Monaco. Interested buyers can bid on the timepieces live at the traditional auction or simultaneously online (www.patrizziauction.com). One hundred percent of proceeds from the watch sales benefit the charity.“Envisioning and studying these marvelous objects has not only provoked dreams of the amount of money that will be raised for a good cause, but also the discovery that new forms are taking shape as today’s, and tomorrow’s, horology is being sketched out by a new wave of artists—micro-mechanical artists—who see wristwatches as a new form of expression in art,” said Patrizzi.The unique watches, for men and women, as well as two table clocks, include many complications such as perpetual calendars, celestial canopies, a “World Time,” chronographs, tourbillons, jumping hours, moon phases, and highly innovative mechanical movements in cases ranging from 18k gold to silver, steel, carbonized steel, tantalium, titanium and ceramic. Several timepieces feature enamel or engraved dials while others are adorned with diamonds and artistic flourishes.The participating brands are Audemars Piguet, Bell & Ross, Blancpain, Bovet Fleurier, Breguet Montres, Cabestan, Cartier, Chaumet, Chanel, Confrerie Horlogere (by BNB Concept), Corum Montres, De Bethune, Delacour, Franc Vila, Franck Muller, Frédérique Constant, Gerald Charles, Girard-Perregaux, Hermès, Hublot, Jaquet Droz, Les Ateliers de Monaco, Louis Vuitton, MB&F, Montblanc, Omega, Patek Philippe, Piaget, Tag Heuer, Tourneau Timepieces, Ulysse Nardin, Vacheron Constantin, Van Cleef & Arpels, Zenith International.www.patrizziauction.com/only_watch
Categories: News State Rep. Earl Poleski, R-Jackson, will host in-district office hours this month to meet with residents and discuss state and local issues.“Office hours give me a chance to hear what my constituents are most concerned about and are a great opportunity to connect with residents who I’ve not met before,” said the third-term lawmaker.Residents are invited to join Rep. Poleski every Friday in March (excluding Good Friday, March 25) from 3 to 5 p.m. at the Jackson County Tower Building located at 120 W. Michigan Ave., Jackson, MI 49201.No appointments are necessary. Those unable to attend can contact Rep. Poleski’s office by phone at (517) 373-1795 or by email at EarlPoleski@house.mi.gov.### 29Feb Rep. Poleski invites residents to March office hours
Tags: #SB Categories: Chatfield News State Rep. Lee Chatfield invites residents of the 107th House District to join him during local office hours for the month of September.“As your state representative, I want to be as accessible as possible,” said Rep. Chatfield, R-Levering. “Local monthly office hours is a great way to make myself available and responsive to the people I represent.”Since taking office, Rep. Chatfield has held monthly office hours in every county that he represents.His September office hours schedule is: 19Sep Rep. Chatfield announces September office hours Tuesday, Sept. 27Emmet CountyLevering Cafe5707 U.S. 31 in Levering9-10 a.m.Cheboygan CountyYour Spirit Bakery414 N. Main St. in Cheboygan11 a.m.-NoonMackinac CountyDriftwood Restaurant590 N. State St. in St. Ignace1-2 p.m.Chippewa CountyPickford Community Library230 E. Main St. in Pickford3-4 p.m.No appointment is necessary and there is no cost to attend. Anyone unable to attend may contact Rep. Chatfield’s office by calling (517) 373-2629, via email at email@example.com or through his website at www.RepChatfield.com.
Bill unanimously approved by House committeeThe Michigan House Families, Children, and Seniors Committee today approved legislation authored by state Rep. Sue Allor to expand state payment to health care providers for sexual assault exams. “After sexual assault, a medical exam can check for injuries, even those you may not be able to see,” said Allor of Wolverine. “With medical attention and testing, costs shouldn’t keep victims from getting the care they need.”The cost of providing these services to victims of sexual assaults has increased and many health care providers have become financially constrained because of the costs. To ensure these services are continued, Allor said the state must provide additional funding to health care providers.Every 98 seconds, a person experiences sexual assault in the United States. Sexual assault affects hundreds of thousands of Americans each year. One out of every six American women has been the victim of an attempted or completed rape in her lifetime and 3 percent of men are victims of attempted or completed rape in their lifetime.The Crime Victims Compensation Board provides reimbursement expenses to innocent crime victims who suffer personal injury. Michigan became the 17th state to offer this program.House Bill 4506 moves to the full House for consideration.### Categories: Allor News 08Jun Rep. Allor bill helps pay for sexual assault examinations
Martin HowrylakState RepresentativeDistrict 41 Categories: Howrylak News Dear Friends,Hello and welcome to my June e-newsletter!The beautiful summer season is just around the corner. If you and your family are looking to travel this summer, I encourage you to contact my office at 517-373-1783 to request a free copy of the Pure Michigan Travel Guide. This informative publication showcases fun outdoor activities and exciting sites to see across our beautiful state.I would also like to take this opportunity to share an update from our state Capitol. Please keep in mind that this e-newsletter is not exhaustive and is only meant to be a summary of some of the legislative activity in Lansing. For more information, please do not hesitate to call the office toll-free at 1-877-238-0001 or email MartinHowrylak@house.mi.gov.Rep. Howrylak testifies before Transportation CommitteeI recently gave testimony in the Michigan House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee in support of my bill that would reduce distracted driving crashes by requiring drivers to operate a mobile device in hands-free mode while driving. If enacted, this legislation will preserve the driver’s ability to use a cell phone, while also protecting the lives of other commuters and pedestrians.The number of distracted drivers continues to rise and we must take action to make our roadways safer. House Bill 4466 seeks to ensure Michigan drivers have their attention focused on the road at all times, instead of a mobile device. The current statute is outdated, only referring to text messaging, and needs to be updated to be in tune with current technology.Drivers are more than four times likely to get into a crash while using a hand-held device according to the National Safety Council. Jim Santilli, chief executive officer of the Transportation Improvement Association and Laurel Zimmerman also testified in support of the bill. Laurel Zimmerman’s daughter, Allison “Ally” Zimmerman, was tragically killed in 2011 by a distracted driver while riding in a car in Romeo, Michigan.In 2014, 3,179 people were killed and 431,000 were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers.House Bill 4466 remains under consideration by the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.Rep. Howrylak introduces proposal to improve oversight of the Michigan Strategic FundI recently introduced legislation requiring all Michigan Strategic Fund resources to pass through the appropriations process before being distributed to corporations.The Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) currently operates with limited budgetary oversight. The current process lacks accountability and must be reformed. In 2016 alone, the MEDC collected $60 million from Michigan’s tribal casinos, which are required by compact to share a certain percentage of their annual income with the state. Under current law, however, these resources are not required to go through the legislative appropriations process like other funds distributed by the state.If my proposal is enacted, all assets within the Michigan Strategic Fund (MSF) would be considered public. Therefore, these resources would be required to go through the appropriations process in the legislature before the funds could be legally dispersed to corporations.The people of Michigan deserve to know how all public money is spent. My proposal will ensure these resources are allocated completely through the legislative process, thereby enhancing the public’s oversight over the MEDC and the MSF going forward.House Bill 4645 was referred to the House Appropriations Committee for further consideration. HB 4645 is a reintroduction of HB 4559 from the 2015-16 legislative sessionHouse passes legislation to honor Troy police officerOn June 6th, the Michigan House voted unanimously to pass legislation in honor of Troy Police Officer Martin “Marty” Chivas, who died in the line of duty on April 22, 1974.Officer Chivas, was killed while investigating a burglary at a gas station on Rochester Road and I-75. Officer Chivas was only 24 years old. If enacted, my proposal would name the portion of I-75 located at the Rochester Road exit as the “Officer Martin ‘Marty’ Chivas Memorial Highway.”Our community is a safe place to live, work, and raise a family because of the hard work and dedication of the Troy Police Department. This memorial, which will be funded by the Troy Police Department Honor Guard, is a fitting way to honor Officer Chivas’ life and his commitment to public safety.“If this bill is signed into law, motorists who travel this portion of I-75 will be reminded of the dedication of those who work in law enforcement when they see the signs in honor of Officer Marty Chivas,” said Troy Police Chief Gary Mayer. “It is important to remember those that went before us and helped make the City of Troy the wonderful community that it is.”House Bill 4191 now advances to the Senate for consideration.Establishing police body camera guidelines If legislation (HB 4427) that was recently approved by the House is signed into law, police agencies would have clear guidelines for recordings made by police body cameras under legislation approved by the House in May. I was pleased to co-sponsor this important legislation.Body cameras assist law enforcement officers in their daily operations, while increasing the public’s trust in officers and serving as a deterrent for violence against an officer. These guidelines give law enforcement agencies the tools they need to implement effective body-worn camera programs, while also ensuring that the people of Michigan can have confidence in those programs. The bill establishes rules for retaining and releasing footage recorded on body cameras. In addition, this legislation would protect personal privacy rights by exempting any recordings made where someone should have a reasonable expectation of privacy from public disclosure. The bill moves to the Senate for its consideration.Defining electronic property rightsA resolution (HJR C), which was recently approved by the House proposes amending the Michigan Constitution to make crystal clear that the government must generally obtain a search warrant to access a person’s electronic data or communications. Since the resolution proposes a constitutional amendment, the measure must be placed on the ballot and approved by a majority of voters before becoming law.Proponents for the measure state that since warrants are required to search physical possessions, the law should be amended to accommodate protections for phone or computer records. House Joint Resolution C now advances to the Senate for consideration. If approved by two-thirds of the Senate, the initiative would be placed on the November 2018 ballot.Tackling the opioid epidemicThe House recently approved a six-bill bipartisan package (HB 4403 – HB 4408) focused on combatting opioid addiction in Michigan.The package includes legislation requiring medical professionals to consult with parents or guardians when an opioid-based medication may be prescribed to a person under the age of 18. The practice of educating young people and parents about the risks and potential for dependence when using opioid medications is vital to protecting children from the life-threatening ramifications of addiction. Other bills in the package increase access to opioid treatment, allow pharmacists to use their judgement to refuse an opioid prescription without fear of legal ramifications and require school curriculum regarding the risks of prescription drug abuse. The committee approved the legislation with unanimous, bipartisan support.The bills now advance to the Senate for further consideration.Rep. Howrylak seeks to enhance local control and fireworks safetyI recently introduced legislation to provide local governments with more flexibility regarding fireworks safety.If my proposal is signed into law, local governments will be permitted to enact and enforce ordinances related to consumer firework use any time other than daytime and evening hours on the 3rd, 4th and 5th of July, as well as December 31st, January 1st & 2nd. In addition, this legislation would permit local governments to regulate the noise caused by fireworks and increase the penalty for individuals who violate the law from $500 to $1,000.Under current law, all national holidays, and days before and after, are exempt from ordinances imposed by local governments. My bill will restore a local government’s rightful authority to regulate fireworks in the way that works best for their community.HB 4704 was referred to the House Regulatory Reform Committee for consideration. This legislation is the reintroduction of HB 5203 from the 2015-2016 sessionRep. Howrylak reintroduces juvenile justice billsAs you may recall, last session I was involved in a bipartisan bill package that sought to improve juvenile justice practices in the State of Michigan. This session, I have reintroduced this legislation (House Bill 4948 from 2016), which will raise the age of a juvenile, in most prosecutions, to less than 18 years old and require juvenile cases to be sent to the Family Division of the Circuit Court. However, if a child is 14 or older and charged with a felony, the judge can make the determination to have that child tried in criminal court after conducting an investigation and achieving a motion from the prosecuting attorney.Michigan is one of nine states that tries all 17 year-olds as adults, regardless of their offense. My bill will ensure that it won’t be automatic for a 17-year-old to be tried as an adult. This policy change balances the need for public safety with the fair treatment of juveniles by giving judges the option to look at each case on an individual basis.Similarly, I have reintroduced another proposal (House Bill 4966 from 2016), which seeks to accomplish another important reform by requiring the Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC) to develop policies for age-appropriate out-of-cell activity and outdoor exercise at least five days a week for inmates under 21 years of age. Access to out-of-cell programing and exercise will improve the physical and mental well-being of young inmates. In turn, this will enhance our ability to successfully rehabilitate inmates after they are released, which will not only ensure public safety but reduce recidivism rates.My legislation is once again part of a bipartisan bill package that seeks to improve juvenile justice policies in Michigan. Other key changes in the package include: public monitoring and oversight of youth under the jurisdiction of the Department of Corrections who entered for an offense committed prior to turning 18 and the process of moving youth offenders out of adult jails and prisons. The overall goal of this legislation is to bring Michigan law in line with 41 other states that recognize the unique needs of youth in the criminal justice system.My upcoming office hours are as follows (No appointment necessary):Saturday, June 17th from 3:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.Troy Library, 510 W. Big Beaver Rd., Troy, MI 48084Monday, June 19th from 3:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.Blair Memorial Library, 416 N Main St, Clawson, MI 48017Saturday, July 29th from 3:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.Troy Library, 510 W. Big Beaver Rd., Troy, MI 48084Monday, July 31st from 3:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.Blair Memorial Library, 416 N Main St, Clawson, MI 48017Consumer Education EventOnce again, I am partnering with the Michigan Attorney General’s office to host a Consumer Education event on Friday, June 16th.This Consumer Education event will educate citizens on the latest phone, mail and online scams. I hope this event will provide a valuable opportunity for citizens of all ages to learn the warning signs of potential scams and how to avoid them.The presentation will begin at 11:00 am at Clawson’s Hunter Community Center, located at 509 Fisher Court. A light lunch will be provided.For more information regarding this event, please contact my office at (517) 373-1783 or via email at MartinHowrylak@house.mi.gov.Rep. Howrylak’s Lansing OfficeMailing Address: N-890 House Office BuildingP.O. Box 30014Lansing, MI 48909Website: http://www.RepHowrylak.comPhone: (517) 373-1783Toll Free: (877) 248-0001Email: MartinHowrylak@house.mi.govAs always, please do not hesitate to contact my office if you have any questions or concerns. I will continue to work on removing barriers to job creation, retaining our valuable businesses, growing our economy, and moving Michigan forward. If you have any suggestions, comments, or questions please let me know.Warm regards, 16Jun June 2017 Newsletter
The Michigan House today approved Rep. Jim Tedder’s legislation offering a faster, less expensive way to settle tax disputes in Michigan.Tedder’s bill allows taxpayers to avoid court when settling disputes with the Michigan Treasury. The parties could instead use an informal conference as a starting point to offer written settlement proposals, bypassing the court system that current state law now mandates they use.“This is a common-sense reform,” Tedder, of Clarkston, said after the House approved his bill. “This proposal provides a more efficient option for settling disputes. It’s going to save time and money – for taxpayers and the state – by avoiding costly court cases.”Taxpayers already have the option of requesting a free, informal conference with Treasury during tax disputes. Tedder’s bill will allow taxpayers and Treasury to use that conference as a launching point for out-of-court settlements now prohibited by state law.The process would be optional, used in cases where both the taxpayer and Treasury agree.Tedder is chair of the House Tax Policy Committee. His bill advances to the Senate.###Tedder’s’s legislation: House Bill 4976. Categories: News,Tedder News 11Oct House approves Rep. Tedder’s bill to save time, money resolving tax disputes
Share4TweetShare1Email5 SharesAugust 17, 2015; CNN MoneyIn a story we have covered from the outset, the National Labor Relations Board brought a halt to the effort of Northwestern University football players to unionize as employees of the NCAA-affiliated college program. The ruling of the NLRB was unanimous in favor of the private, nonprofit Northwestern and against the college players, who were led by former Northwestern quarterback Kain Colter.The “private” nature of Northwestern is one of the issues that concerned the NLRB, because only 17 of the 125 NCAA “bowl-eligible” colleges are private entities, the rest state schools. Given that the NLRB’s formal jurisdiction is limited to private workplaces, as Northwestern is, the NLRB worried about the impact on the state schools of granting union powers to the Northwestern students:In the decision, the Board held that asserting jurisdiction would not promote labor stability due to the nature and structure of NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS). By statute the Board does not have jurisdiction over state-run colleges and universities, which constitute 108 of the roughly 125 FBS teams. In addition, every school in the Big Ten, except Northwestern, is a state-run institution. As the NCAA and conference maintain substantial control over individual teams, the Board held that asserting jurisdiction over a single team would not promote stability in labor relations across the league.In other words, it wasn’t quite a matter of the merits of the Northwestern footballers’ argument, but rather the impact of making a decision for one school that would disrupt the labor relations between students and universities at 108 schools not covered by the NLRB. In the porous world of public, quasi-public, and private sector employers that sometimes compete in the same space, the NLRB chose to put on its blinders and conclude that were it to rule on the merits of the argument presented by Colter and his colleagues, it could disrupt conditions at the University of Alabama, Michigan State, Ohio State, and UCLA, to name a few of the public sector schools that compete with Northwestern, a notorious NCAA punching bag in the bowl competition.Testimony in the case recounted the 14-hour practice days of NCAA football players in August before school officially starts and the longer-than-fulltime hours of football players during the school year for games, practice, and travel. Moreover, by employing college football athletes for the price of a scholarship, the NCAA schools had combined revenues of $2.8 billion in 2013 and a profit of $1.2 billion. Even Northwestern had profits of $8.8 million in 2013, though the school will never be confused for a team of the caliber of Florida State or the University of Oregon.While exhilarated Northwestern execs breathed a sigh of relief and complimented the efforts of its “student-athletes” to bring some issues to the public’s attention, Colter issued a polite statement of disappointment in the NLRB ruling, and added, “The overall legacy from this movement is that when players come together to stand up for what they believe in, things get changes…. For decades, advocates have been fighting for some things that we got changed in one year.”Do realize what the Board’s decision really means. When the Board said in its decision, “Just as the nature of league sports and the NCAA’s oversight renders individual team bargaining problematic, the way that FBS football itself is structured and the nature of the colleges and universities involved strongly suggest that asserting jurisdiction in this case would not promote stability in labor relations,” some important implications emerge.One is that limiting the application of the NLRB’s authority over Northwestern football players because of the disruption their unionization would cause to the state schools that are in the Football Bowl System is not mandated by the National Labor Relations Act. It was decision of expediency by the NLRB, which bypassed dealing with the rights of the Northwestern players and the responsibilities of their employer. Second, by citing the NCAA’s own oversight over the 125 bowl-eligible schools—and relying on that oversight rather than making a ruling on the issues presented by the so-called student athletes themselves—the board elevated the nonprofit NCAA into a de facto definer and arbiter of labor rules and conditions at the schools.Perhaps it is harsh to say, but we’ll say it; the NLRB decided that the “novel and unique circumstances” of the players’ petition—that the Board had “never before been asked to assert jurisdiction in a case involving college football players, or college athletes of any kind,” and that “the scholarship players do not fit into any analytical framework that the Board has used in cases involving other types of students or athletes”—allowed it to take a pass on the merits of the argument raised by Colter. Thus, the Board offered these flimsy justifications—fear of disrupting the array of bowl-eligible state schools, the intimation that the NCAA was keeping an eye on the issues between “student-athletes” and their university quasi-employers—lacking believability and failing to address the arguments of Colter and his organizing colleagues.In reaching its decision on Northwestern, the NLRB did not preclude future petitions of this kind. Ragomi Huma, the director of the College Athletes Players Association, said that meant “the door is still open” and pointed out that the NLRB decision did not say that the college players were not employees. The NLRB probably had the same thoughts when it was presented with its first case of graduate student teaching assistants, too, hoping that some extraneous variables would preclude the NLRB having to rule the way the NCAA’s standards and enforcement alleviated the board of having to rule on the merits at this time.Someone ought to tell the suddenly magnanimous Northwestern administrators not to get too elated with this NLRB decision, because someday in the future the NLRB will face another “student-athlete” employee question with a broader impact: the opportunity to rule on all 125 bowl-eligible NCAA schools, so that the excuse of disrupting labor stability by ruling on only one private university will be put to bed.—Rick CohenShare4TweetShare1Email5 Shares
Share15TweetShare1Email16 Shares“Kamehameha I, Honolulu” by Kanu101July 7, 2017; Honolulu Civil BeatAs reported in Honolulu Civil Beat, Hawaii’s legislators allocated $600,000 in 2016 to civil legal aid groups that offer services to people with low incomes who could not otherwise afford the help. In 2017, the amount was increased to $750,000. How much in this year’s budget, which started July 1st? Zip, as in zero.The cut comes at a time when legal aid groups in Hawaii and throughout the nation are already facing more demand for their services than they can meet. In an interview with Civil Beat, Sergio Alcubilla, director of external relations for the Legal Aid Society of Hawaii, said that the nonprofit serves between 8,000 and 10,000 clients out of 20,000 calls for help it receives. The organization is the largest public interest law firm in the state.Alcubilla said that the state funding cut will affect the number of clients the organization can take on. “There are a lot of vulnerable people in our communities,” Alcubilla said to Civil Beat, “and any legal situation can push them over that brink when living paycheck to paycheck.”This situation may be temporary. Funds may be restored next year or in a supplemental budget, said Hawaii State Sen. Karl Rhoads. In the past, Rhoads has pressed for permanent, recurring state funding for legal aid. This year, he said to Civil Beat, the money “got tangled up in the running feud between the Judiciary and the Legislature—I think that may be part of the reason it didn’t pass this year.”That may be so in Hawaii, but the prospects for federal legal aid funding—while not cut to zero yet—are also grim. As NPQ reported in April, the Trump administration is looking to eliminate funding for the Legal Services Corporation (LSC), which, according to its website, provides funding to 133 legal aid programs throughout the country. (For example, the aforementioned Legal Aid Society of Hawaii, an independent nonprofit 501(c)(3), receives a quarter of its funding from the LSC.)According to the LSC’s 2017 Justice Gap report, in the last year, 71 percent of low-income households reported at least one civil legal problem, including domestic violence, problems with veterans benefits, and housing conditions. For 86 percent of the legal problems low-income Americans reported, they received inadequate or no legal help. The LSC estimates that in 2017, low-income Americans will seek help from legal aid groups for approximately 1.7 million legal problems, but due to a lack of resources, the organizations will be able to provide only limited help or no help at all for more than half of those problems.While the Trump administration has certainly upped the ante, inadequate funding has plagued legal aid groups for years—maybe as long as there has been legal aid. For example, NPQ has reported on the situation in Louisiana, where low-income criminal defendants languish for years without a trial. They have the constitutional right to an attorney, but they can’t afford one—and the waiting list for public defenders, already overburdened with huge caseloads, is long.Economic vulnerability often goes hand-in-hand in with legal jeopardy. LSC’s Justice Gap report notes that the top three issues for which low-income Americans seek legal help concern health (in 41 percent of cases), consumer/finance (37 percent), and rental/housing (29 percent).In a case cited by Honolulu Civil Beat, Jewell Domingos moved to Hawaii to care for her chronically ill brother but was informed by the program that paid for his apartment that she couldn’t stay there. Not wanting to jeopardize his housing, she moved to a homeless shelter. Domingos went to the Legal Aid Society of Hawaii, which successfully argued that as her brother’s full-time caregiver, she was entitled not only to live in the same apartment but at no additional rent.“Having help and an advocate from Legal Aid really turned me around both financially and spiritually,” Domingos said in an interview with Civil Beat. “It gave me a clean slate.”—Nancy YoungShare15TweetShare1Email16 Shares
Deutsche Telekom-owned Croatian telco T-Hrvatski Telekom had 317,847 TV customers at the end of September, up 21.7% year-on-year, and up 4.6% quarter-on-quarter.T-Hrvatski Telekom said that its IPTV and DTH services were boosted by new sports content, pay-per-view services and try-and-buy offerings. The group noted that competition would be increased by the acquisition of cable operator B.net by Telekom Austria-owned mobile service provider VIPnet in June.The operator had 538,000 residential broadband customers, up 8.3% year-on-year.T-Hrvatski Telekom reported revenue of HRK6.092 billion (€812 million) for the first nine months of the year, down 3.6%, and EBITDA of HRK2.799 billion, down 2.1%.
Connected TV technology specialist Inview has signed an exclusive deal with consumer electronics distributor, Altech SetOne to deploy its Smart TV platform across German-speaking markets.Inview will supply Altech SetOne with an IP platform that will be sold across its range of DVB-S products, giving German consumers access to a range of Smart TV applications.The Inview platform integrates content delivered via the internet with broadcast programming. The software has been designed to work on lower-end devices.Keith Wiggins, commercial director at Inview Technology said: “The Inview platform gives the end-user access to Smart TV functionality on a basic zapper box, giving them the benefits of a Smart TV platform without the price tag. By operating on zapper boxes we are opening up Smart TV to a mass market audience rather than a niche set of early-adopters.”