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White guy, computer programmer. I'm a stud, not a dud!

Journal Archives

Pennsylvania Turnpike's $5.7 billion capital plan under review

The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission’s decision last week to review all construction projects came two months after the majority of the five-member board approved a $5.7 billion, 10-year capital plan over the objections of the chairman and vice chairman.

The majority say that they were aware of potential financial shortfalls but the capital plan is a necessary working document that should be passed every two years and that it can adjusted as situations change. PennDOT Secretary Leslie Richards, who is a member of the commission, said in a statement that a capital plan is important to bond-rating agencies.

“Rating agencies want to see that we are properly maintaining our asset,” she said. “… I am not surprised and expected us to take a look at future construction projects to see what may need to be deferred and that is exactly what we plan to do now.”

Board chairman Sean Logan, who with vice chairman William Lieberman voted against the plan, said he “couldn’t in good conscience” vote for the plan knowing the agency likely wouldn’t have the money to pay for all of the projects. The capital budget includes normal maintenance, highway widening work and new construction such as the Lafayette Street exit near Philadelphia and the Scranton beltway.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/news/transportation/2016/07/27/Pennsylvania-Turnpike-s-5-7-billion-capital-plan-under-review/stories/201607270034

Suit against Univ. of Penn. claims dentist was fired for reporting unneeded treatment

A dentist who was fired by Penn Dental Medicine is suing the University of Pennsylvania, alleging he was wrongfully terminated in retaliation for reporting that a fellow dentist was providing unnecessary treatment to make more money.

In its legal response, Penn claims it fired Steven S. Pesis because he reviewed patients' records without permission, in violation of university policies and the federal law that protects the confidentiality of patients' medical information.

Pesis' lawsuit is also against Peter B. Kauderwood, executive director of administration for Penn's School of Dental Medicine. The suit, filed in March in Philadelphia Common Pleas Court, asks for a jury trial and compensation in excess of $50,000.

A Penn spokesman said the university does not comment on pending litigation.

Read more: http://www.philly.com/philly/news/20160727_Suit_claims_dentist_was_fired_for_reporting_unneeded_treatment.html

At LGBT Caucus, Barney Frank criticizes Sanders loyalists who refuse to back Clinton

FORMER MASSACHUSETTS Congressman Barney Frank gave a scathing speech at the Democratic National Convention's LGBT Caucus on Tuesday afternoon, aimed at "Bernie or Bust"-ers who vowed to not vote for Hillary Clinton.

Frank, who was one of the first openly gay people in Congress, said he believed it was his and other Democrats' "special mission" to persuade Sanders supporters to vote for Clinton, adding that Sanders loyalists were willing to do harm to the LGBT community for their own "superior moral political position."

Frank urged Sanders supporters to think about the empty Supreme Court seat after conservative Justice Antonin Scalia died in February. Scalia's replacement will likely be appointed by the next sitting president.

" will appoint a justice like Antonin Scalia. And let's be clear about Antonin Scalia. There has never been a more highly placed militant homophobe in the history of the United States," said Frank. "And citing him as a model is as direct a threat to us as can be."

Read more: http://www.philly.com/philly/news/388341731.html

For delegate fleeing poverty in Puerto Rico, DNC is a one-way trip

Like thousands of other delegates to the Democratic National Convention this week, Gendy Tchuda made her way to Philadelphia by plane. Unlike most, the 25-year-old from Bayamon, Puerto Rico, bought a one-way ticket.

"There's no jobs in Puerto Rico right now," said Tchuda, who's been searching fruitlessly for work since graduating from the University of Puerto Rico-Rio Piedras in May 2015. "If I can get an opportunity, I would stay here."

Tchuda is among 23 Bernie Sanders delegates from Puerto Rico, which sent 67 delegates altogether. While many Sanders delegates are speaking out on issues like campaign-finance reform and the role of superdelegates, the Puerto Ricans have more immediate concerns: The island's unemployment rate, 11.2 percent, is more than double the national average, the 45 percent poverty level is the highest in the nation, and about 38 percent of households use food stamps.

Because of the crushing economy, Puerto Ricans have been fleeing the island at a rate of 230 a day.

Read more: http://www.philly.com/philly/news/politics/dnc/20160727_For_delegate_fleeing_poverty_in_Puerto_Rico__DNC_is_a_one-way_trip.html

Pa. halted anonymous nursing home complaints for 3 years, audit finds

HARRISBURG — The Pennsylvania Department of Health risked “residents' safety” by refusing to accept anonymous complaints against nursing homes for almost a three-year period, Auditor General Eugene DePasquale said Tuesday.

Halting anonymous complaints violates federal policy and is “a decision that is absolutely breathtaking,” DePasquale said at a news conference. He said he suspects it was “an action intended to silence critics.”

It occurred from 2012-14 under the former administration of Republican Gov. Tom Corbett.

Michael Wolf, who became acting state Secretary of Health in October 2012, was nominated by Corbett in April 2013 and confirmed by the Senate in May 2013. Now a vice president of a health care management company, Wolf could not be reached Tuesday for comment.

Read more: http://triblive.com/news/adminpage/10850267-74/complaints-depasquale-nursing

Texas Reaches Agreement With Families in Birth Certificate Case

After undergoing mediation, the state of Texas has reached an agreement with undocumented families in a lawsuit over its denial to issue birth certificates to children born in the U.S. to undocumented immigrants.

The state will clarify and expand the types of secondary forms undocumented immigrants can use to prove their identity, according to attorneys representing the group of undocumented parents and their U.S-born children who filed a lawsuit against the Texas Department of State Health Services.

Previously, immigrants in Texas could request birth certificates for their children if they had two secondary forms of ID, including Mexican voter registration cards and foreign IDs with a photo.

In the agreement, the state said it would accept voter ID cards received by undocumented immigrants in Texas by mail under recent changes to Mexican law, the attorneys said. Until earlier this year, the Mexican voter registration cards could only be obtained in Mexico.

Read more: http://kut.org/post/texas-reaches-agreement-familes-birth-certificate-case
(Note: Families was misspelled in the original headline so if it is updated then the link may also be updated)

I have a solution to the problem--ban emails!

No more questions whether they are fake, doctored or real. If a problem does exist then pick up the phone or walk over to the next office to discuss it.

Alabama superintendent lifts ban on 'Amazing Grace'

ELMORE COUNTY, AL (WSFA) - Elmore County School Superintendent Dr. Andre Harrison has reversed a decision he made earlier this week regarding a song that was to be performed by a high school band this upcoming football season.

Controversy arose earlier this week when the hymn Amazing Grace was pulled from the halftime set list of the Holtville High School Marching Band after Harrison's office received a complaint.

According to Harrison, his office received the complaint and was then contacted twice by the same person about the constitutionality of the band playing the song.

Harrison says that after consulting with legal counsel and receiving what he says to be an admittedly conservative recommendation, Harrison decided to remove the song from the Holtville halftime show.

Read more: http://www.wsfa.com/story/32517522/superintendent-reverses-decision-holtville-hs-band-now-allowed-to-play-hymn

Longtime deputy killed in robbery at Round Rock home

Authorities have identified the Travis County sheriff’s deputy who was killed early Monday as Sgt. Craig Hutchinson, a veteran officer of 32 years who was set to retire in September.

Travis County Sheriff Greg Hamilton said Hutchinson called in on the radio that people were running out of the backyard of his home in southwest Round Rock around 1:22 a.m. Hamilton said officers arrived to find the deputy shot in the yard about 10 minutes after the call.

The sheriff said the shooting appears to be part of a robbery and that investigators so far do not think the incident was an ambush or a targeted attack. He said there was no word on any suspects but that the area had seen other burglaries recently.

Hamilton reflected on the life of the deputy, noting that Hutchinson was his field training officer.

Read more: http://www.statesman.com/news/news/local/travis-county-deputy-shot-early-monday-in-round-ro/nr4jJ/

With Pa. lawmakers in recess, several high-profile bills left in limbo

HARRISBURG — There is unfinished business under the Capitol dome this summer.

When state lawmakers returned to their home districts last week after completing the 2016-17 budget, several high-profile bills were left in limbo. Among them are pension reform, updates to the state’s statutes of limitations on child sexual abuse cases, a proposal to tighten restrictions on abortion and the expansion of anti-discrimination protections to people who are gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender.

Another lingering issue, the expansion of legal gambling in the state, carries special significance: The recently-completed state budget was balanced with help of revenue from that proposal.

Many of the bills have support, but time constraints, complexities and historical divides hindered them from reaching fruition before summer, experts and lawmakers said.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/news/politics-state/2016/07/25/With-Pennsylvania-lawmakers-in-recess-several-high-profile-bills-left-in-limbo/stories/201607250010
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