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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: 85,680

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

Rhode Island ends curfew for restaurants, other businesses

Restrictions that required many Rhode Island businesses to close early to thwart the spread of the coronavirus have been lifted.

Democratic Gov. Gina Raimondo issued an executive order Friday eliminating the requirement that many businesses, including restaurants, close at 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 10:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.

State Department of Health Director Nicole Alexander-Scott said earlier this week that the curfew would be lifted Sunday because key coronavirus metrics were heading in the right direction.

But Matt Sheaff, a spokesperson for the state Commerce Department, said Friday’s order ends the operating hour restriction put in place in late November, effective immediately.

The order also extends to Feb. 27 a range of other restrictions on travel, social gatherings and businesses that Raimondo has imposed to help control spread of the virus.

Read more: https://www.masslive.com/business/2021/01/rhode-island-ends-curfew-for-restaurants-other-businesses.html

Despite Effective Short-Term Measures, Long-Term Homelessness Persists in Massachusetts

Joe Finn was beating a very different drum in November and December of 2020. At the time, the executive director of the Mass Housing and Shelter Alliance (MHSA) feared that Massachusetts would be short a few hundred beds this winter, causing many shelters to be in the difficult position of turning people away as the New England winter wore on.

“If you had been talking to me back in October, you would have been getting a much different song,” Finn said in mid-January.

Finn gave me the relative good news that, through hard advocacy work by anti-homelessness organizations, shelters are not turning people away this winter—even with the COVID pandemic raging, and with strict social distancing guidelines in place. Still, Finn cautioned, we are one bad storm away from a reality where that is not the case.

“I’m keeping my fingers crossed,” he said. “One bad stint of bad weather and we don’t know what might happen.”

Read more: https://digboston.com/shelter-shock/

State Police lieutenants sue department alleging potential cheating on promotion exam by high

State Police lieutenants sue department alleging potential cheating on promotion exam by high-ranking officers

Three Massachusetts State Police lieutenants are suing the department claiming a recent promotional exam was rolled out improperly, and their attorney alleged in court there is “very serious evidence of potential cheating” within the top ranks of the department.

The lieutenants and their attorney told a Suffolk Superior Court judge earlier this month the alleged wrongdoing is the latest in a pattern of discriminatory practices resulting in women and people of color being repeatedly bypassed for leadership roles within the state’s largest police force.

“This is just another indication that there are opportunities that are given to younger, white men that are not given to female and older minorities,” Springfield-based attorney Lisa Brodeur-McGan said in a recent court hearing, according to audio obtained by the Globe Friday.

The attorney said in court she wants an investigation to be conducted into the claims by her clients: Lieutenants Marion Fletcher, a 57-year-old white woman; Carmelo Ayuso, a 61-year-old Puerto Rican man who is president of the Massachusetts Minority State Police Officers Association; and Michael Ahern, a 58-year-old white man.

Read more: https://www.bostonglobe.com/2021/01/30/metro/state-police-lieutenants-sue-department-alleging-potential-cheating-promotion-exam-by-high-ranking-officers/

Ammon Bundy-affiliated group, clamoring for patient's release from Vancouver hospital, prompts

Ammon Bundy-affiliated group, clamoring for patient’s release from Vancouver hospital, prompts lockdown, confrontation

Twenty-two Clark County Sheriff’s deputies secured a Vancouver hospital Friday evening after a group, including some who were armed, gathered to demand the release of a patient, who was discharged later that night.

At least one person was pepper-sprayed and another pushed by deputies guarding the entrance of the Legacy Salmon Creek Medical Center emergency room. No arrests were made, but the incident drew wide attention after video was posted on the YouTube channel of Ammon Bundy, who led the 2016 seizure and occupation of the Malheur Wildlife Refuge in Oregon.

People in the crowd — few wearing masks and at least some who self-identified on the video as being members of People’s Rights, an affiliation of militia groups, far-right extremists and anti-mask and anti-vaccine activists that has railed against coronavirus restrictions and with which Bundy is closely associated — asserted that the patient was being held against her will for refusing to take a COVID test. They screamed at hospital personnel from outside the emergency room, demanding her release and alleging “medical kidnapping.”

The Sheriff’s Office said in a statement Saturday that the patient, identified by people in the crowd as a 74-year-old woman, had refused a COVID test and had been “placed in 24-hour quarantine for protection while receiving medical treatment.” In the video, people in the crowd said the patient was being treated with fluids and prescribed antibiotics for a urinary tract infection. They said the patient had had a brain tumor and was easily confused and needed support from her daughter, who they said held medical power of attorney.

Read more: https://www.seattletimes.com/news/ammon-bundy-affiliated-group-clamoring-for-patients-release-from-vancouver-hospital-prompts-lockdown-confrontation/

State urges teachers to return to classrooms -- shot or not

SEATTLE — The schools chief in Washington state is pushing for teachers to get vaccinated for the coronavirus when it’s their turn but also insisting they get back to classrooms immediately, shot or not.

“The bottom line is a vaccine is a tremendous safety net but it is never the thing that is going to create the perfect scenario,” said Chris Reykdal, superintendent of public instruction. “Our schools are safe today.”

Reykdal on Friday announced a partnership with Kaiser Permanente to offer vaccinations to the state’s 143,000 public school employees and 12,000 private school employees.

The health care company and medical provider is pledging to open its doors to all educators and school employees in the state when each of them become individually eligible under the state’s vaccine rollout.

Read more: https://www.yakimaherald.com/ap/state/state-urges-teachers-to-return-to-classrooms----shot-or-not/article_61052308-3569-5c60-b329-a35069af2e3e.html

One of largest NW cattle ranches sued in Franklin Co. for bilking $225M from Tyson

Pasco, WA -- Easterday Ranches is accused of bilking Tyson Foods out of more than $225 million by charging for 200,000 cattle that never existed.

A lawsuit filed in Franklin County this week by Tyson Foods claims the money was used “to offset over $200 million in losses (company president Cody Easterday) incurred in the commodities trading markets.”

Now South Dakota-based Tyson is looking for the money back, along with 54,000 head of cattle on an Easterday feedlot north of Pasco.

Cody Easterday was not available Thursday for an interview about the accusations, and other members of the family declined to comment to the Tri-City Herald on the lawsuit.

Read more: https://www.tri-cityherald.com/news/local/article248832529.html

460-mile roundtrip 'for nothing.' Vaccine ran out before Everett man's Tri-Cities appointment

Kennewick, WA -- Like most Americans affected by the coronavirus pandemic over the past year, Andy Rice is more than ready to get back to normal life.

The Everett man has been doing his information technology job from home since last summer.

So when the Washington state Department of Health introduced its Phase Finder tool to help residents find out when they’re eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, Rice immediately got on the site and answered the questions.

Then he sat back and waited for his phase to be called.

“I’ve been anxious for the vaccine ever since the virus started,” he told the Tri-City Herald.

Read more: https://www.tri-cityherald.com/news/coronavirus/article248877844.html

UW study finds Amazon promotes vaccine lies, especially to already misinformed users

Findings from University of Washington researchers’ audit of Amazon algorithms point to a dire situation: The tech giant’s search engine promotes misinformation about vaccines.

The consequences, researchers fear, could prevent the United States from controlling the COVID-19 pandemic.

Achieving herd immunity requires the vast majority of the population to get vaccinated, said Prerna Juneja, the doctoral student at UW’s Information School who authored the study with Tanu Mitra, a UW professor of social computing.

If some people’s reluctance about the COVID-19 vaccine is reinforced through Amazon or social media, she said those companies have a social responsibility to intervene.

Read more: https://www.spokesman.com/stories/2021/jan/29/uw-study-finds-amazon-promotes-vaccine-lies-especi/
(Spokane Spokesman-Review)

Seattle ordered to pay $82K to Black Lives Matter lawyers

SEATTLE (AP) — The city of Seattle has been ordered to pay nearly $82,000 to attorneys for Black Lives Matter to cover their fees and costs in pursuing contempt-of-court violations against the Seattle Police Department.

The contempt violations were for the improper use of pepper spray and blast balls by police against peaceful protesters after the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, The Seattle Times reported.

The amount by U.S. District Judge Richard Jones ordered was much less than the nearly $264,000 in fees and costs sought by lawyers for BLM-Seattle and King County after Jones found police had violated his injunction prohibiting unnecessary force.

Jones did not place “coercive sanctions” against the city, sought by BLM, which would have required Seattle officers to provide BLM with use-of-force reports within days of every incident in which an officer uses force against a protester. The judge found those kinds of sanctions were not appropriate in this case.

Read more: https://www.seattlepi.com/news/article/Seattle-ordered-to-pay-82K-to-Black-Lives-Matter-15907838.php

Mags, open carry at protests and AR-15s on Olympia's agenda

A number of bills concerning firearms are being considered by the Legislature this year as lawmakers in Olympia decide whether to place restrictions on high-capacity magazines, semi-automatic rifles and the open carrying of guns in some public places.

Some of the bills have been proposed before, like banning the sale or transfer of high capacity magazines and semi-automatic rifles like AR-15s. Democratic lawmakers say there is renewed momentum after a year of gun violence at political rallies and the storming of the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C.

Violence has touched protests in Washington state too. Protesters were shot at two events in December at the State Capitol Campus in Olympia.

To address this, HB 1234 would ban carrying weapons at the State Capitol. Two other bills, SB 5038 and HB 1283, would prohibit open carry at or near public demonstrations and in a situation where a reasonable person would feel threatened, respectively.

Read more: https://www.seattleweekly.com/news/mags-open-carry-at-protests-and-ar-15s-on-olympias-agenda/
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