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Profile Information

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: 78,353

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

Bullet train suffers two big setbacks that could be fatal

Late Wednesday, the California High-Speed Rail Authority dispatched a report to the Legislature, crowing about progress in building a statewide bullet train system.

It boasted of spending $2.3 billion so far on an initial 119-mile segment in the San Joaquin Valley “that will bring passenger rail service to connect the Central Valley to the Silicon Valley by 2025.”

The report implies that the bullet train, a high priority legacy project for Gov. Jerry Brown, is on a fast track to completion.

However, the financially challenged project had just suffered two immense hits, either of which could be fatal.

Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/politics-columns-blogs/dan-walters/article136098388.html
Posted by TexasTowelie | Fri Mar 3, 2017, 01:07 AM (0 replies)

San Diego paying $4.85M to cyclist injured by damaged sidewalk

San Diego has agreed to pay a man nearly $5 million for severe injuries he suffered when he and his bicycle were launched 28 feet by tree-damaged sidewalk in Del Cerro in 2014.

Clifford Brown tore spinal cord ligaments, lost several teeth and suffered a possible stroke after skidding another 10 feet and landing on his head, according to court documents.

The San Diego City Council is scheduled on Tuesday to approve a $4.85 million settlement with Brown, who filed a lawsuit in 2015. The council gave the agreement a preliminary approval in a session closed to the public in October, but three of its nine members have been replaced since then.

The settlement is much larger than what the city typically pays in cases involving injuries related to bicycling accidents or damaged sidewalks. The last three such settlements have been for $75,000, $98,000 and $235,000.

Read more: http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/politics/sd-me-bike-settlement-20170301-story.html#nt=oft13a-22gp1
Posted by TexasTowelie | Fri Mar 3, 2017, 01:02 AM (0 replies)

Iowa lawmaker under fire for referring to Sizzler certificate as business degree

An Iowa state lawmaker said Thursday that he didn't mean to mislead anyone by claiming he had a business degree from a company that actually had awarded him a certificate for participating in a training program when he worked at Sizzler.

Sen. Mark Chelgren's biography on a website run by Iowa Senate Republicans had listed that he had a degree in business management from Forbco Management school. The information was removed Wednesday after NBC News reported that Forbco Management is a California company that operated a Sizzler franchise.

Chelgren told The Associated Press that his clerk first provided the credentials to Senate Republicans, which then circled back with him.

"It was given to me to approve and I thought it was adequate," he said.

Read more: http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/nation-world/ct-mark-chelgren-business-degree-20170302-story.html
Posted by TexasTowelie | Fri Mar 3, 2017, 12:55 AM (7 replies)

Proton therapy center in San Diego files for bankruptcy

Just three years after opening its doors, San Diego’s only proton therapy center is seeking Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

The investment group that owns the $220 million state-of-the-art facility on Summers Ridge Road filed Wednesday under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code, stating in court papers that the center “has not operated on a profitable or even a break-even basis.”

The facility is known throughout the region as the Scripps Proton Therapy Center and is operated under contract by the Scripps Clinic Medical Group, which has no ownership stake in the Mira Mesa operation.

At a hearing in Delaware bankruptcy court scheduled for Friday, owner California Proton Treatment Center will ask a judge to approve a $16 million short-term loan to pay for continued operations while a restructuring effort proceeds.

Read more: http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/health/sd-me-proton-bankruptcy-20170302-story.html
Posted by TexasTowelie | Fri Mar 3, 2017, 12:49 AM (0 replies)

State employee visited 48,000 webpages for online games, videos

A library employee at California State University Fresno may have cost taxpayers $22,200 in time he wasted using his work computer to visit 48,000 webpages for online videos and games unrelated to his duties during a 13-month period, according to a state audit released Thursday.

Also, an employee with the California Department of Transportation cost taxpayers an estimated $4,300 by misusing 130 hours of state time for excessive smoke breaks and extended lunches during her workdays over an eight-month period.

And a parole agent for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation cost the state about $3,800 by misusing her government vehicle for her personal commute during a seven-month period ending in July 2016. She didn’t disclose the personal use of the vehicle, which is taxable income.

These examples are among 10 incidents of fraud, waste and abuse the California State Auditor’s Office summarized in its regular report on “improper governmental activities.” The report included whistleblower tip investigations completed in the last six months of 2016.

Read more: http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/watchdog/sd-me-auditor-report-20170302-story.html
Posted by TexasTowelie | Fri Mar 3, 2017, 12:46 AM (0 replies)

San Diego judge poised to approve $1 million settlement in border death case

A San Diego federal judge on Thursday tentatively approved the U.S. government’s offer to pay $1 million to the children of a Mexican man who died after being beaten and shot with a Taser at the San Ysidro Port of Entry, ending seven years of litigation in the lawsuit that has brought national attention to use of force at the border.

The settlement, after attorney fees, will be dispersed among the five children of Anastasio Hernandez Rojas, including his 10-year-old son and daughter who appeared in court. The San Diego fifth-graders were 3 when their father was killed following the confrontation on May 28, 2010.

“This agreement is not justice,” said Hernandez Rojas’ common-law wife, Maria Puga, at a news conference following the hearing. “My husband’s life does not have a price. The decision had to be taken and it was difficult. We had to turn the page.”

The settlement required a judge’s approval because two of the children are minors.

Read more: http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/courts/sd-me-hernandez-settlement-20170302-story.html
Posted by TexasTowelie | Fri Mar 3, 2017, 12:35 AM (0 replies)

'Beauty and the Beast' Features Disney's First Gay Character

The highly anticipated live-action remake of "Beauty and the Beast" will feature a gay character for the first time in Disney's history, according to the film's director.

Director Bill Condon said in an interview with Attitude, a British gay magazine, that LeFou, the goofy sidekick of the film's main villain, Gaston, will find his own subplot by exploring his sexuality.

"LeFou is somebody who on one day wants to be Gaston and on another day wants to kiss Gaston," Condon told Attitude. "He's confused about what he wants. It's somebody who's just realising that he has these feelings." Condon promised the film will have a "nice, exclusively gay moment" at the end.

Many in the LGBTQ have been advocating to see themselves represented in Disney films. Last year, for example, the hashtag #GiveElsaAGirlfriend gained momentum on social media. Those using it were advocating for giving the lead character in Disney's blockbuster hit "Frozen" a female love interest in the sequel.

Read more: http://www.nbcnews.com/feature/nbc-out/beauty-beast-features-disney-s-first-gay-character-n727876
Posted by TexasTowelie | Thu Mar 2, 2017, 02:31 PM (7 replies)

California lawmaker proposes tax on OxyContin, other opioids

SACRAMENTO — A California lawmaker wants to tax OxyContin and other prescription opioids to fund rehabilitation services for people addicted to opioids and heroin.

Assemblyman Kevin McCarty on Wednesday announced AB1512, a bill to create a 1 cent-per-milligram tax on prescription opioids.

McCarty’s office estimates the tax would generate tens of millions of dollars for addiction rehabilitation and prevention programs run by California counties.

If the bill passes, the Sacramento Democrat said California could be the first state to enact such a tax. Similar legislation has been proposed at the federal level and in three other states: Connecticut, Minnesota and Pennsylvania.

Read more: http://www.mercurynews.com/2017/03/02/california-lawmaker-proposes-tax-on-oxycontin-other-opioids/
Posted by TexasTowelie | Thu Mar 2, 2017, 01:56 PM (0 replies)

Golden Gate Transit pays $4 million for wrongful death in fatal pedestrian crash

An award of $4 million was granted last month to the family of a woman struck and killed by a Golden Gate Transit bus in 2014.

The verdict ruled against The Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District after the jury found the driver’s negligence was a “substantial factor” in the death of San Francisco resident Lori Helmer.

The death is an anomaly in the transit agency’s history, the Golden Gate district told the San Francisco Examiner.

“It’s the first Golden Gate Transit fatality in more than a decade,” said Priya Clemens, a district spokesperson. “We’ll be reviewing our safety training and policies.”

Read more: http://www.sfexaminer.com/golden-gate-transit-pays-4-million-wrongful-death-fatal-pedestrian-crash/
Posted by TexasTowelie | Thu Mar 2, 2017, 12:58 PM (0 replies)

San Francisco Mayor Lee's promised Airbnb regulation working group never set up

When Mayor Ed Lee vetoed a regulation last year on Airbnb limiting stays to just 60 days annually, he promised to establish a working group and to propose improved regulations by the end of February.

But the San Francisco Examiner has learned no such working group was ever set up.

For those backing stronger regulations on short-term rentals, the failure is seen as the latest setback in a mayoral administration criticized for being soft on Airbnb due to Lee’s cozy relationship with the company’s investor, Ron Conway. Opponents argue short-term rentals gobble up precious housing stock.

The Mayor’s Office, however, said it is only respecting the mediation process related to the federal lawsuit filed against The City last year by Airbnb over a separate law adopted last summer, which would assess fines and criminal penalties to Airbnb and other short-term home rental companies if they let homeowners rent rooms without registering with The City.

Read more: http://www.sfexaminer.com/mayor-lees-promised-airbnb-regulation-working-group-never-set/
Posted by TexasTowelie | Thu Mar 2, 2017, 12:55 PM (0 replies)
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