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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

Conowingo Dam legal battle ends with $200M settlement for bay restoration

The Maryland Department of the Environment and Exelon Generation Company have ended a years-long legal battle over the environmental impacts of the Conowingo Dam.

Exelon, which operates the 90-year-old dam near the mouth of the Susquehanna River, will pay more than $200 million toward Chesapeake Bay restoration projects to settle a water quality battle with the state, Gov. Larry Hogan and Exelon announced Tuesday.

“Exelon Generation and the State of Maryland share a commitment to restoring and sustaining the health of the Chesapeake Bay, which has been strengthened by this agreement,” said Chris Crane, president and CEO of Exelon, in a prepared statement. “This is a victory for clean energy and the long-term preservation of the Chesapeake Bay."

The investment of $213.5 million will be divided among 10 projects, the largest pertaining to new requirements for flow control to create more natural conditions in the Lower Susquehanna. The $52 million investment will enhance aquatic life and the downstream ecosystem and make a better upstream passage for migratory fish, according to a state news release.

Read more: https://www.delmarvanow.com/story/news/2019/10/29/conowingo-dam-legal-battle-ends-200-m-settlement-bay-restoration/2496079001/

Lawsuit alleges racism, sexism against Delaware insurance department employee

A federal lawsuit filed against Insurance Commissioner Trinidad Navarro and others alleges that one of Navarro's employees has been a victim of workplace sex and racial discrimination.

Delaware Department of Insurance employee Fleur McKendell claims, among other things, that Navarro inappropriately touched her cornrows and made comments about her height and weight, according to the lawsuit.

McKendell's attorneys argue that she went through the proper avenues to address the issue, but state government did not conduct the proper investigation.

"I am here today in hopes that it will help prevent any other government employee from experiencing what I have experienced," McKendell said at a Wednesday press conference in Dover announcing the lawsuit.

Read more: https://www.delawareonline.com/story/news/politics/2019/10/30/lawsuit-claims-racism-sexism-against-delaware-government-worker/2499758001/

Harrington manager suspended; council orders investigation into allegations

DOVER — Harrington City Council voted to suspend City Manager Don Williams Tuesday while an investigation into alleged criminal and civil misconduct takes place. Mayor Anthony Moyer also will temporarily step away from his duties due to similar allegations.

It was not immediately clear who would conduct the investigation and whether the suspension would be paid or unpaid.

Harrington Police Chief Norman Barlow, who will serve as acting city manager during Mr. Williams’ suspension, said after the meeting he will have to determine what law enforcement agency will handle the probe.

Former Harrington planner Jeremy Rothwell, who worked for the city from December 2016 through June of this year, last week urged City Council to conduct an investigation into alleged wrongdoing by Mr. Williams and Mr. Moyer. He accused Mr. Williams of time theft, bending city rules for personal gain and improperly firing an employee and Mr. Moyer of using his office for personal gain, failing to follow city ordinances and bullying city employees.

Read more: https://delawarestatenews.net/news/harrington-manager-suspended-council-orders-investigation-into-allegations/

MJ Hegar rivals pounce as she rejects Beto O'Rourke's call for mandatory buybacks of assault weapons

WASHINGTON — Two of MJ Hegar’s rivals pounced Wednesday after she rejected Beto O’Rourke’s call for mandatory buybacks of assault weapons — reflecting a major fault line in the field of Democrats angling to take down Sen. John Cornyn next year.

Chris Bell, a former Houston congressman, called Hegar’s stance “incredibly disappointing. The last thing we need right now is a tepid response on the issue of gun violence.”

“Military-style semiautomatic assault weapons have no place in our homes, within our neighborhoods, or on our city streets. I am in 100% agreement with Beto O’Rourke that a ban and buyback program for assault weapons is needed for lasting results that will keep Texas families and communities safer,” he said.

Cristina Tzintzún Ramirez, an Austin-based civil rights activist, also rejected Hegar’s stance.

“Without a mandatory buyback program, we’re leaving weapons of war in our communities. That’s a recipe for violence. Our children’s lives are on the line. This isn’t a time for political caution,” she argued on Twitter.

Read more: https://www.dallasnews.com/news/politics/2019/10/30/mj-hegar-rivals-pounce-as-she-rejects-beto-orourkes-call-for-mandatory-buybacks-of-assault-weapons/

Former House Speaker Paul Ryan launches new organization

MADISON, Wis. — Former House Speaker Paul Ryan has launched a new nonprofit organization he says will be focused on fighting poverty, increasing economic opportunities and advancing evidence-based public policies.

Ryan announced the launch of the American Idea Foundation on Monday. He moved more than $7 million from his congressional account into the nonprofit when he announced its formation earlier this year.

The foundation will be based in Ryan’s hometown of Janesville. Ryan moved his family from Janesville to Maryland earlier this year.

Ryan decided against seeking re-election last year, ending his 20-year career in the House. The Republican from Janesville has kept a mostly low profile since then. Since leaving Congress he joined the board of directors of Fox Corporation and the faculty of the University of Notre Dame.

(Pittsburgh Tribune Review)

Purdue Pharma paid CEO $9M in year before bankruptcy

Source: AP

OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma paid its CEO $9 million and its board chairman nearly $4 million in the 12 months before the company’s bankruptcy filing last month, according to recently filed financial documents.

Five other board members overseeing the private company were paid a combined $3.7 million over that span.

Purdue, a privately held company that usually does not disclose detailed financial information, had to make the information public as a part of its bankruptcy proceedings.

Charles Elson, director of the Weinberg Center for Corporate Governance at the University of Delaware, said it’s hard to compare CEO Craig Landau’s pay package to other executives. But the money paid to Steve Miller, a corporate turnaround specialist who was brought in to lead Purdue’s board of directors last year, seems excessive, he said.

Read more: https://triblive.com/news/wire-stories/purdue-pharma-paid-ceo-9m-in-year-before-bankruptcy/

State Democrats float legislation to strengthen hate crime law

Four Democratic lawmakers on Wednesday announced legislation that they said will strengthen Pennsylvania's hate crimes laws, noting the passing Sunday of the one-year-mark following the Tree of Life synagogue massacre in Squirrel Hill.

The legislation, according to the lawmakers, would boost penalties for crimes motivated by hate, extend their applicability to crimes motivated by victims' LGBTQ or disability status, allow students to report such crimes anonymously, train law enforcement and add correctional rehabilitation tools.

According to memoranda circulated by Mr. Frankel in May, the legislation on students would require colleges and universities to offer online and anonymous options for reporting possible hate crimes. The corrections bill would require that people convicted of ethnic intimidation perform community service or complete classes related to the "motivating factor" of their hatred.

The precise text of the legislation was not immediately available.

Read more: https://www.post-gazette.com/news/state/2019/10/30/Pennsylvania-Democrats-Dan-Frankel-Tree-of-Life-hate-crime-legislation/stories/201910300138

Pennsylvania appellate judge bars state from counting Marsy's Law votes

Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court said Wednesday that votes on the victims' rights referendum question known as Marsy’s Law that will be on Tuesday's ballots may not be counted by the state because the question does not " 'fairly, accurately and clearly' apprise the electorate of the question upon which it is asked to vote."

Judge Ellen Ceisler granted a preliminary injunction that was requested by the state League of Women Voters, which filed a lawsuit Oct. 10 challenging the ballot question. The court heard argument a week ago.

Jennifer Riley, state director for Marsy’s Law for Pennsylvania, said in a statement that the challenge to the ballot initiative "represents an overwhelming disservice to both survivors and voters across Pennsylvania, many of whom have already cast their votes on the Crime Victims’ Rights Amendment.

“We are dismayed by the decision of the Commonwealth Court to grant the injunction request. We maintain our position that the proposed amendment for Marsy’s Law satisfies the single-subject rule, and remain confident that the court will ultimately rule in favor of certifying the election results.”

Read more: https://www.post-gazette.com/news/politics-state/2019/10/30/Judge-says-state-can-t-tally-victims-rights-amendment-votes/stories/201910300155

Joe Biden really loves Scranton. His hometown fans love him back -- but want to see more fight.

SCRANTON — Joe Biden stepped to a lectern in front of a large American flag and gave a humble introduction. “I’m Jill’s husband and Jean Finnegan’s son," he said. "I’m from 2446 N. Washington Ave., and I’m happy to be home.”

As Biden’s campaign for president enters its sixth month, with the Feb. 3 Iowa caucuses in the distant-but-near future, he returned to Scranton on Wednesday for his first public appearance in his hometown since declaring his run. On the same day that President Donald Trump was visiting Pittsburgh, the former vice president got a warm reception from about 400 people in this Rust Belt city and university town.

While Biden’s Scranton audience sang his praises, many also shared a hope that he’ll show more fight.

“It’s been a little lackluster,” said Dave Brunis, 65, a longtime supporter. “I think he’s just starting to pick up speed now, which he needs.”

Read more: https://www.inquirer.com/news/joe-biden-scranton-rally-2020-primary-presidential-trump-pennsylvania-20191023.html

Joe Biden in Fla., Pete Buttigieg in N.Y., Bernie Sanders in Ore.: Who's winning the big-money race

Joe Biden in Fla., Pete Buttigieg in N.Y., Bernie Sanders in Ore.: Who’s winning the big-money race in each state

Americans have poured more than $413.6 million into 2020 presidential campaigns.

But where do all those donors live?

To get a sense of how that money is distributed, The Inquirer broke down large-dollar donations — those greater than $200 — by state. The analysis reveals regional strength and, in some cases, geographic fund-raising strategy:

• Former Vice President Joe Biden, an establishment front-runner whose fund-raising has begun to lag, leads the large-dollar race in 13 states, especially in the Southeast.
• Sen. Bernie Sanders, whose powerful small-dollar network of donors has generated big money, is the top recipient in many states and has particular support in the West.
• South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg raised more large-dollar money than any other candidate nationwide in the third quarter, but a lot of that was concentrated in Midwestern states as well as New York.
• The other top-tier candidate, U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, is the top large-dollar fund-raiser only in her home state of Massachusetts, but she’s a common second and third choice of donors in many other states.

Read more: https://www.inquirer.com/politics/nation/donations-by-state-2020-presidential-election-money-campaign-contributions-primary-20191029.html

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