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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: 78,351

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

UMass will offer free housing to 21 students displaced by Amherst fire

AMHERST - All 21 students displaced by a fire that damaged a multi-family apartment building are being offered free on-campus housing and meal plan assistance by the University of Massachusetts.

The fire started around 2:55 a.m., Sunday, in a six-apartment building at 285 Main St. One man was injured and has been hospitalized with burns and smoke inhalation, Fire Chief Tim Nelson said.

All those who were displaced are UMass students. Officials for the Dean of Students Office met with the victims Sunday afternoon and offered to provide housing, meal plan assistance and academic support for the rest of the semester, said Ed Blaguszewski, UMass spokesman.

"Most of the students affected are graduating seniors," he said.

The last day of final exams is May 10 and graduation ceremonies are scheduled for May 11 and 12.

Read more: http://www.masslive.com/news/index.ssf/2018/04/umass_will_offer_free_housing.html

Disbarred lawyer sentenced for stealing more than $300K from people including his wife's nurse

A disbarred Massachusetts lawyer who stole $60,000 from his wife's nurse and used some of the cash to buy Boston Red Sox season tickets was sentenced to federal prison for defrauding a group of people out of money.

John Silvia Jr., 68, of Somerset was sentenced to serve 57 months by a federal judge in Boston Friday. He will be on supervised release for two years and was ordered to pay more than $300,000 in restitution.

Silvia was convicted on 17 counts of mail, wire and securities fraud during trials in 2016 and 2017. He was also convicted on witness tampering and structuring cash transactions charges.

Authorities said Silvia sold ownership interests in Advanced Space Monitor (ASM), when, in reality, he did not have the right to do so.

Read more: http://www.masslive.com/news/index.ssf/2018/04/disbarred_massachusetts_lawyer.html

Walsh wants to build a bridge to Long Island. But will Quincy ever get over it?

Mayor Martin J. Walsh has made rebuilding the Long Island Bridge a signature initiative of his second term. He has extolled the virtues of using the island as a haven for those seeking to recover from addiction. And he has allocated $92 million from the budget to make it happen.

There’s one major hurdle standing in Walsh’s way: Officials in Quincy appear ready to do just about anything to stop him.

The Quincy City Council is considering a ban on construction vehicles on roadways that lead to the bridge. The councilor who represents Squantum, the neighborhood near the bridge, said he plans to introduce a separate ordinance that would give the council final authority over any permits for bridge construction, which Boston officials may need to move forward. Another councilor suggested the highly unusual move of subpoenaing Walsh to testify before the council.

With the backing of Mayor Thomas P. Koch of Quincy and many constituents, the council could very well derail — at least temporarily — Walsh’s quest for what he describes as a “comprehensive, long-term recovery campus” for his city.

Read more: http://www.bostonglobe.com/2018/04/27/walsh-wants-build-bridge-long-island-but-will-quincy-ever-get-over/bctCQ1JEkf2RnoFTVAHWcN/story.html

James Comey speaks of worry for the country at sold-out Boston appearance

Former FBI director James Comey gave an inside look into how he reacts to President Trump’s tweets and attacks against him and how President Obama treated the investigation into Russian election interference, as he addressed a packed auditorium in Boston Sunday.

Comey, who was fired by Trump last May, spoke to about 1,000 attendees at the Back Bay Events Center as part of the tour for his new book, “A Higher Loyalty.” Weaving humorous personal anecdotes into political accounts, Comey acknowledged making mistakes during the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s e-mails and bemoaned Trump as a “stain” on those around him.

“My great worry today is that under our current leadership … our values, which is all we are as a country, are being eroded,” Comey said.

Standing onstage away from the podium, the 6-foot-8 Comey said many people, himself included, have become numb to Trump’s words and actions. He recalled often waking up and checking online, only to see that “the president of the United States has tweeted that I should be in jail.”

Read more: http://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2018/04/29/comeylocal/sAglSVFmE0vdJRRfGsDoXN/story.html

Mount Ida Closure Leaves Students 'High And Dry'

Students and parents of Mount Ida College railed against the school's abrupt decision to close at a public meeting of the state's Board of Higher Education yesterday. The Newton school announced earlier this month that its campus will be acquired by UMass Amherst and that its 280 faculty and staff members will be laid off.

Paul Reville, professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and former state Secretary of Education, weighed in on Boston Public Radio.

"[Mount Ida College] should have presented a plan to the Commonwealth that they were planning to close out and these students are going to be left high and dry. But they didn't," Reville said.

"What the consequences for that are, I don't know," he added.

Read more: https://news.wgbh.org/2018/04/25/local-news/paul-reville-mount-ida-closure-leaves-students-high-and-dry

As Transplants Expand To Faces And Genitals, Ethical Questions Arise

A badly-injured veteran who lost his genitalia after being hit by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan is the recipient of the first-ever transplant of a penis and a scrotum, according to doctors at Johns Hopkins University.

Between this groundbreaking surgery and a man’s second facial transplant earlier this month, Medical Ethicist Art Caplan says we’ve entered into an unprecedented realm of transplant surgery, with life-changing operations that come with a bundle of ethical qualms regarding the risk, cost, long-term effectiveness and rarity of such procedures.

“We have a procedure in place that says that when somebody dies, if you’re going to use their face, their penis, their uterus [or] their limb, then you need permission from the family and you try to get someone to sign a donor card — but I’m sure there are a lot of people who hadn’t thought about that aspect of organ donations,” Caplan told Boston Public Radio Wednesday. “You think kidneys, and liver and heart … but not other parts. This new world is raising some questions about giving people more choices.”

Caplan adds that organ transplants require toxic drugs that impact other body parts and eventually shorten people’s lives, even while preserving them.

Read more: https://news.wgbh.org/2018/04/25/boston-public-radio-podcast/transplants-expand-faces-and-genitals-ethical-questions-arise

White nationalist Chris Cantwell, known for role in Charlottesville riots, arrested in Leesburg

Christopher Charles Cantwell, a self-described white nationalist and alt-right activist from New Hampshire, was arrested on March 31 in Leesburg for public swearing and intoxication, according to the Leesburg Police Department.

Leesburg Police Officers observed Cantwell trying to cross the street in the 500 block of Market Street. When they made contact with him, “he did show signs of drunkenness. He smelled of alcohol, couldn’t keep his balance,” Sam Shenouda of Leesburg Police told the Times-Mirror.

“At that point, we’re responsible for the person’s safety so he was taken into custody and held until sober,” said Shenouba.

Cantwell was later released on his own recognizance. Shenouda told the Times-Mirror there was no further investigation as to what he was doing in Leesburg. He also said that Cantwell was not investigated in relation to KKK literature that has been distributed throughout Loudoun County over the past year.

Read more: https://www.loudountimes.com/news/white-nationalist-chris-cantwell-known-for-role-in-charlottesville-riots/article_44905e3a-473e-11e8-8cb8-437f3a7f4973.html

Paid family and medical leave bill struck down in Senate on party lines

A proposal to establish a state-run paid family and medical leave insurance program in New Hampshire died in the Senate Thursday, in an anticipated party-line vote that came after Gov. Chris Sununu raised concerns over its solvency.

After an 80-minute debate, the bill, House Bill 628, was pushed into interim study by the Senate, 14-10. The bill would have established a program, run by the Department of Employment Security, to create an insurance program for private sector employees that would provide up to six weeks of paid leave at 60 percent of pay, and allow those who didn’t want to participate to opt-out .

Proposed by Rep. Mary Gile, D-Concord, the proposal left the House with bipartisan support, clearing three floor votes earlier this year. But it faced tougher challenges in the Senate, after the state’s Department of Insurance and Department of Employment Security warned that they couldn’t guarantee long-term viability and Sununu expressed opposition.

On Thursday, Republican senators echoed those concerns, praising the motivation behind the bill but arguing the program is not ready to take off.

Read more: http://www.concordmonitor.com/New-Hampshire-family-leave-bill-struck-down-in-Senate-on-party-lines-17124640

Capital Beat: Repeal aside, New Hampshire not ready for executions

The vote was decisive, but Gov. Chris Sununu held his ground. Facing a 223-116 House vote to repeal the state’s death penalty, the governor maintained his previous stance: no.

But even as death penalty supporters cheered the promised veto and opponents vowed to change the governor’s mind, all sides face an inconvenient reality. New Hampshire’s death penalty is, for now, functionally nonexistent.

There are no drugs on hand to fulfill a lethal injection, according to Jeff Lyons, spokesman for the Department of Corrections. There are no protocols for how to obtain those drugs, where to obtain them or how to administer them. There isn’t even an existing chamber in which to carry an execution out.

And as New Hampshire’s only death row inmate proceeds through the court system, the state is holding off on making any major decisions on to move forward. That inmate, Michael Addison, was convicted for the 2006 killing of a Manchester police officer, Michael Briggs; his conviction is presently being appealed in federal court.

Read more: http://www.concordmonitor.com/Capital-Beat-New-Hampshire-still-little-prepared-for-executions-17151664

The Cannabis Catch-Up: Tax-and-Regulate Goes Bust -- for Now

A bid for full cannabis legalization in Vermont flamed out on Friday.

Hours after a group of Vermont lawmakers revived the dormant idea of a taxed-and-regulated cannabis market, the House quickly shot it down.

Rep. Diana Gonzalez (P/D-Winooski) proposed the amendment to H.167 on Thursday, but by Friday morning, the House voted 106 to 28 to shelve it indefinitely.

The proposal likely would not have made it past the desk of Gov. Phil Scott — who earlier this year signed a much more limited cannabis-legalization bill in private, and with “mixed emotions” — though it had support from House Minority Leader Don Turner (R-Milton).

Read more: https://www.sevendaysvt.com/vermont/the-cannabis-catch-up-tax-and-regulate-goes-bust-for-now/Content?oid=15262327
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