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Gender: Male
Hometown: South Texas. most of my life I lived in Austin and Dallas
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Current location: Bryan, Texas
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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

Kate Brown signs lower caseworker degree requirements into law

SALEM — Gov. Kate Brown on Tuesday signed a bill into law that lowers the degree requirement for child welfare caseworkers.

Under House Bill 2033, Oregon can now hire as caseworkers people who hold associate’s degrees and have completed “additional training or additional certification in human services or a field related to human services.”

State law previously required workers who investigate reports of child abuse and make decisions about whether to remove children from their families to have earned at least a bachelor’s degree.

Brown and leaders at the Department of Human Service originally wanted to eliminate the degree requirement completely. Oregon’s child welfare program has struggled to hire and retain enough caseworkers, and director Marilyn Jones told lawmakers earlier this year that ending the degree requirement could encourage a more diverse pool of job candidates.

Read more: https://www.oregonlive.com/politics/2019/05/kate-brown-signs-lower-caseworker-degree-requirements-into-law.html

Lawmakers consider plan to make some bucks off the Oregon state seal

SALEM – The seal of the state of Oregon adorns mugs, t-shirts, key chains and all sorts of doodads and knickknacks that are for sale in gift shops in many corners of the state.

Somebody is making money selling all that stuff, and now Oregon lawmakers want a piece of the action.

A legislative budget committee is set to vote Thursday on Senate Bill 803, which would prohibit the commercial use of the state seal without a licensing agreement from the Oregon Secretary of State. Companies would have to pay a licensing fee and royalties from the sale of the products.

The bill does not specify the amount the state would charge for use of its seal, and a legislative analysis does not contain an estimate of the amount of revenue it would generate.

Read more: https://www.oregonlive.com/politics/2019/05/lawmakers-consider-plan-to-make-some-bucks-off-the-oregon-state-seal.html

Oregon schools will be required to teach about the Holocaust

SALEM — Oregon will require public schools to teach about the Holocaust under a measure sent to the governor.

Lawmakers unanimously voted Tuesday to add Holocaust instruction to the school curriculum starting in the 2019-2020 school year. Ten other states require some level of genocide education in schools.

A recent poll found that one in five American millennials surveyed were unfamiliar with the Holocaust.

Some say that those awareness gaps can have consequences. The Anti-Defamation League reports that anti-Semitic incidents at K-12 schools quadrupled from 2015 to 2017.

Read more: https://www.oregonlive.com/education/2019/05/oregon-schools-will-be-required-to-teach-about-the-holocaust.html

How COBOL Still Powers The Global Economy At 60 Years Old

A 60-year-old computer language powers the global economy.

Estimates as high as 80% of financial transactions use common business-oriented language, or COBOL. Now as programmers retire and fewer are joining the workforce to replace them, the future for the language is uncertain. But rumors of COBOL’s demise are nothing new.

Its death has been predicted many times. In fact, if there is one constant in the history of COBOL it may be predictions of the programming language’s death.

COBOL was created in 1959 by industry and government programmers but even then its future was uncertain.

“In less than a year there were rumors all over the industry that COBOL was dying,” said Grace Hopper, rear admiral and programmer who helped design the language in a 1981 lecture.

Read more: https://www.tpr.org/post/how-cobol-still-powers-global-economy-60-years-old

National Democrats Launch Ad Campaign Against U.S. Rep. Chip Roy After He Blocks Aid Package

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee said it's releasing digital ads criticizing Austin-area Congressman Chip Roy after the Republican single-handedly delayed a disaster aid package Friday.

The DCCC announced the ads "will reach thousands of voters in Texas’ 21st Congressional District on Facebook and Instagram."

The freshman congressman opposed a $19 billion bipartisan aid package that would have provided aid to hurricane-prone parts of Texas, as well as other parts of the country dealing with natural disasters.

“Congressman Roy just singlehandedly blocked a unanimous, bipartisan agreement on disaster relief,” DCCC Spokesperson Avery Jaffe said in a statement. “That’s a fitting close to a month where he stood on the side of drug companies overcharging Americans for their prescriptions and voted for higher taxes on Gold Star families. Every day Congressman Roy spends in Washington he turns more into a creature of the swamp, and the families in Texas he’s hurting need to know that.”

Read more: https://www.kut.org/post/national-democrats-launch-ad-campaign-against-us-rep-chip-roy-after-he-blocks-aid-package

Kentucky Congressman Thomas Massie blocks $19B disaster relief bill supported by Trump

House Democrats again failed to get a long overdue $19 billion disaster aid package that President Donald Trump "totally support(s)" across the finish line on Tuesday after a Kentucky Republican objected to the proposal.

U.S. Rep. Thomas Massie, whose district stretches from Louisville to Ashland, blocked the bill by using a procedural move to halt its fast track.

The Democrat-controlled House advanced the measure — aimed at helping millions of Americans in states and territories — by "unanimous consent," which allows for quick passage with just a handful of lawmakers present. A single member, however, can object to block any proposal from passing by unanimous consent.

Massie is following in the footsteps of fellow Republican Congressman Chip Roy, of Texas, who stopped the measure from moving forward on Friday due to concerns about its cost.

Read more: https://www.courier-journal.com/story/news/politics/2019/05/28/kentucky-congressman-thomas-massie-blocks-disaster-relief-bill/1261203001/

Alaska Supreme Court rules against military couple in PFD case

FAIRBANKS -- The Alaska Supreme Court has denied the appeal of an Anchorage couple who argued they should receive permanent fund dividends for 2014 and 2015 even though they weren’t physically present in the state for several years prior to that due to the husband’s military assignment.

The court, in a ruling released Friday, upheld an administrative ruling that found the residency requirement is clear and inflexible.

The court itself determined that state law on residency regarding permanent fund eligibility is “plain and unambiguous.”

“The text is clear: an allowably absent individual must be physically present in the state for 30 days in the preceding five qualifying years to be eligible for a PFD,” the ruling reads. “There is no ambiguity about this requirement. “

Read more: http://www.newsminer.com/news/alaska_news/alaska-supreme-court-rules-against-military-couple-in-pfd-case/article_1b7745e4-80f0-11e9-a56c-b799913e3b50.html
(Fairbanks Daily News-Miner)

Time's up for deadly sarin, mustard, VX in Central Kentucky. Here's what you need to know.

They can’t be seen and usually don’t smell. They can kill or maim— small doses dispersed in the air can choke or blister thousands. They sit a few miles from Lexington in Richmond. But not for much longer.

Chemical weapons stored in Madison County since the 1940s are set to be destroyed starting in June — after decades of planning, billions of government dollars and significant anxiety of some workers and area residents.

You can’t throw thousands of shells and rockets with such poisons in the trash or blow them up. Accident-free disposal of mustard, sarin and VX requires complex procedures to minimize danger. Here are six things you need to know, according to information supplied by Blue Grass Chemical Activity and Blue Grass Army Depot.


Blue Grass Chemical Activity, the agency responsible for the safekeeping of chemical weapons stored at the 15,000-acre Blue Grass Army Depot, oversees 523 tons of mustard and nerve agents on 250 acres.

Read more: https://www.kentucky.com/news/state/kentucky/article230785284.html

Leak sends 100,000 gallons of sewage into Central Kentucky creek

Officials are still monitoring the waters of Elkhorn Creek after a pressurized sewer line sprung a leak in Scott County Saturday, spewing an estimated 100,000 gallons of raw sewage into the waterway.

As of Tuesday, lab results showed “a ‘high normal’ concentration” of sewage in the creek, according to Michael Hennigan, director of the Georgetown/Scott County Emergency Management Agency.

He said in a Facebook post that the water would be tested daily “until everything shows normal.”

The Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet said in a Facebook post that the Georgetown waste water treatment plant had “estimated that the leak was intermittently pumping 600 gallons per minute for approximately 12 hrs” before it was discovered on Saturday.

Read more: https://www.kentucky.com/news/article230912713.html

State retirees welcome new law to ease re-employment

As of June 27, retired Kentucky public employees will be able to take advantage of a new law passed during the 2019 General Assembly with little, if any, fanfare.

House Bill 419 allows those who have been retired for at least one year to accept new employment without fear of governmental interference or reprisal. But it’s difficult to determine which is the larger story — the relief of the newly adopted amendments or the possibly near-bankrupting penalties of the regulations as they were written prior. To talk about one means we can’t avoid the other, and to many, both will be news.

When considering reemployment after retirement, three issues arise — waiting out the bona fide separation from service; certifying that no prearranged agreement exists prior to return to state payroll; and obtaining clearance from the Kentucky Retirement Systems before accepting any position anywhere.

HB419 makes two landmark improvements. It requires members to certify at the time of retirement, rather than upon reemployment, that no pre-arranged agreement to return to work exists between the member and any agency participating in the Kentucky Retirement Systems. A second key component says retired members who return to work with a participating agency 12 months after their initial retirement date no longer must notify the KRS of their return to employment. In the past, the retiree was to notify the KRS at any point, even years later, if he or she chose to consider new employment, regardless of the position.

Read more: https://www.state-journal.com/2019/05/27/news-analysis-state-retirees-welcome-new-law-to-ease-re-employment/
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