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Gender: Male
Hometown: Texas
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Current location: Red Hell Texas
Member since: Sun Aug 14, 2011, 02:57 AM
Number of posts: 72,577

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

DOE gets $471,000 to detect and prevent timecard fraud at Hanford as part of settlement

CH2M Hill has finished paying $500,000 for systems to detect and deter timecard fraud at the Hanford nuclear reservation as part of a settlement agreement reached in 2013, according to the Department of Justice.

The company spent $29,000 for modifications to CH2M Hill Plateau Remediation Co.’s timecard system to allow automatic verification of time worked by the Department of Energy contractor’s employees.

The remaining $471,000 was paid directly to the Department of Energy. The money may be used only for additional systems to detect and deter timecard fraud and abuse at Hanford, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for Eastern Washington.

The agreement requires CH2M Hill to provide a full accounting of the $500,000 to ensure that it came from the company’s own money and was not charged directly or indirectly to the Department of Energy.

Read more: http://www.tri-cityherald.com/news/local/hanford/article91450022.html

Explosive fire destroys downtown buildings in Bothell

A firefighter walks along a scorched area of Main Street in downtown Bothell following a fire that broke out early Friday morning. (Ian Terry / The Herald)

BOTHELL — Stephan Mourer was locking up the downtown Bothell pub where he tends bar just before 3 a.m. Friday when he heard an explosion. Flames were filling the six-story mercantile building under construction on the next block.

“I was 100 yards away, and the heat was intense,” Mourer said.

His conversation with a 911 operator was punctuated by two more explosions as the fire’s heat set off combustibles.

“That’s when the building’s top blew up,” he said.

Read more: http://www.heraldnet.com/news/morning-fire-destroys-buildings-shuts-down-roads-in-bothell/

Sawant wants to cap fees landlords charge Seattle renters

Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant on Thursday proposed legislation that would put a cap on the amount of money landlords charge incoming renters.

The ordinance would limit move-in fees — including a security deposit and any nonrefundable, one-time payments — to no more than the cost of one month’s rent.

Sawant’s legislation also would require landlords to allow renters to pay their move-in fees in installments rather than immediately and in full. Landlords asking for last month’s rent up front would likewise be required to accept that sum in installments.

The council member said her proposal is aimed at reducing costs for Seattle renters during a time in which many of them are struggling to make ends meet.

Read more: http://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/politics/sawant-seeks-cap-on-some-fees-landlords-charge-renters-in-seattle/

City Council considers ban on ‘conversion therapy’ in Seattle

The Seattle City Council is considering an ordinance that would ban mental-health counselors from using so-called “conversion therapy” to try to make gay youth straight.

The legislation proposed by Councilmember M. Lorena González would make the practice of conversion therapy on minors by licensed medical or mental-health professionals punishable by fines of up to $1,000. It would also prohibit the advertising of conversion therapy.

“For many years, in cities and states throughout the country, a variety of organizations and therapists have claimed that they can use talk therapy to successfully ‘treat’ same sex attractions and make a person straight,” says a memo from the council’s central staff to the council’s civil rights committee, which will take up González’s proposal Tuesday.

“Though some people claim to be cured of their homosexuality, professional medical and mental-health organizations have taken the position that conversion therapy is ineffective and can be harmful, particularly to minors.”

Read more: http://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/politics/city-council-considers-ban-on-conversion-therapy-in-seattle/

‘Never Trump’ GOP moderate Chris Vance wages low-budget challenge to Patty Murray

Republican Chris Vance is betting voters are fed up with partisan gridlock in Congress. But it remains to be seen if Washington state voters will buy his arguments against Democratic Sen. Patty Murray, who has worked across the aisle on high-profile issues.

In an election that’s given us presidential candidates bragging about the size of their hands, Chris Vance wants to talk about compromise, more specifically Simpson-Bowles, which is not a virus or scandal, but a dusty bipartisan plan to reduce national debt.

Vance, a Republican challenging incumbent U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, has made the $19 trillion debt the top priority of his low-budget, “pissed-off moderate” campaign that’s heavy on issue papers and attacks on “hyperpartisan gridlock.”

A former chairman of the state Republican Party, Vance contends Murray, a four-term Democrat, is the kind of entrenched politician responsible for congressional dysfunction and gridlock.

Read more: http://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/politics/gop-moderate-vance-waging-low-budget-challenge-to-murray/

Literal cat fight breaks out between Downing Street and British Foreign Office

Larry the Cat, 10 Downing Street’s tabby, sits in the street as politicians attend a cabinet meeting in London. Larry had been treated... (Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP)

LONDON — Britain’s new leader had been in office barely a week when a skirmish broke out between 10 Downing Street and the Foreign Office.

No, Prime Minister Theresa May’s patience with her boisterous foreign secretary, Boris Johnson, did not run out. Instead, a fight erupted between Larry the Cat, 10 Downing Street’s tabby, and Palmerston, the Foreign Office’s feline.

Larry, who holds the jocular title of chief mouser to the Cabinet Office, after being tasked in 2011 with alleviating a mouse problem at the prime minister’s residence, was recently spotted with a limp. Palmerston, however, is a newcomer, having arrived in April.

According to accounts in the British news media, the turf war began when Larry tried to infiltrate the grounds of the Foreign Office, on Whitehall, from his nearby Downing Street residence, prompting a jealous Palmerston to claw at him. Eventually, Larry emerged triumphant, and he limped home.

Read more: http://www.seattletimes.com/nation-world/literal-cat-fight-breaks-out-between-downing-street-and-british-foreign-office/

State lays out plan to halt aquifer’s steady decline

The water levels of eastern Idaho’s massive aquifer continue to plummet.

To combat the troubling trend, state officials have proposed setting up an East Snake Plain Aquifer groundwater management area.

The goal is to formulate a plan where farmers and other groundwater users within an expanded boundary line would be subject to limitations on how much they consume. Instead of reacting haphazardly to water cutbacks demanded by senior downstream surface water users, officials say the idea behind a groundwater management area would be to address the health of the aquifer itself.

“The water calls have led to crisis management, and (we) would like to work toward a more comprehensive management system,” Idaho Department of Water Resources Director Gary Spackman said in a statement. “We are looking to find ways to manage the (East Snake Plain Aquifer) in a more proactive fashion.”

Read more: http://www.postregister.com/articles/featured-news-daily-email-west/2016/07/22/state-lays-out-plan-halt-aquifer%E2%80%99s-steady-decline

Idaho lawmakers convene for initial review of health options for poor

Lawmakers exploring health care alternatives for poor Idahoans convened Tuesday at a hearing where off-topic detours underscored lingering ideological differences that have blocked consensus on a resolution.

“I think that this whole thing comes down to what’s becoming very accepted in our culture today, and that is not accepting responsibility for yourself,” said Sen. Patti Anne Lodge, R-Huston.

The issue is how to improve health care for 78,000 Idahoans who, despite their low incomes, earn too much to be eligible for Medicaid but not enough to qualify for subsidized health coverage available via the exchange that Idaho created under the 2010 Affordable Care Act.

The ACA included a provision to expand Medicaid to cover such gap populations. But the 2012 Supreme Court ruling that upheld the health law also made expansion optional for states. So far Idaho remains one of 19 states that have declined expansion.

Read more: http://www.idahostatesman.com/news/politics-government/state-politics/article90895792.html

Nurses seek legislation to protect against workplace violence

Only a month ago, a female patient punched registered nurse Amber Brensdal hard enough in the back of the head to knock her over.

The patient then jumped her, ripped out handfuls of her hair and bashed her head against the wall and floor. Brensdal lost consciousness.

“Had this person attacked me in a grocery store or on a street corner, it would not be tolerated, but because it took place inside a health care facility, it is viewed as just ‘a part of the job,’ ” said Brensdal.

Enter the “Your Nurse Wears Combat Boots” roadshow, hosted by the Montana Nurses Association. It was in Butte Friday on its fourth leg of a statewide tour.

Read more: http://mtstandard.com/news/local/nurses-seek-legislation-to-protect-against-workplace-violence/article_17d81d11-2afd-5ee4-8ec8-f9f3c4e643ba.html

Republican lawmaker brings defamation lawsuit against letter writer

State Rep. Art Wittich is suing a Bozeman man for defamation after the man had his letter to the editor published in the Belgrade News.

Wittich, a Bozeman Republican, is seeking monetary and punitive damages from Rob Gregoire, also of Bozeman, according to court documents filed in Gallatin County District Court on Thursday.

The letter by Gregoire published in the Belgrade News was titled, “House District 68 deserves Grubbs.” It said that Wittich “was being investigated for corruption, a crime that carried penalties including removal from office.”

Wittich maintains he was defamed because the letter goes on to assert that he had been “convicted of that crime.”

Read more: http://www.bozemandailychronicle.com/news/politics/lawmaker-brings-defamation-lawsuit-against-letter-writer/article_e46bb5c1-b8f0-5ac6-8ae2-9b8cd150ba3d.html
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