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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

Republican House candidate alleges defamation, harassment in online comments

BENNINGTON — Comments on internet sites have touched off a firestorm of allegations and countercharges involving a candidate for the Statehouse, the chairman of the Bennington County Democratic Party and other residents.

Kevin Hoyt, a Republican candidate in the Bennington 2-1 House district, is accusing the Democratic Party chairman, Aaron Sawyer, and two others of defaming him in social media comments and by word of mouth. He has filed a defamation suit against each person, and on Monday filed a motion in Superior Court seeking a "relief from abuse" order.

Hoyt filed a defamation complaint in May against Sawyer and has filed similar complaints against Nancy Koziol and Justin Woodie, all of Bennington.

As of Wednesday, Sawyer and Koziol had filed written responses with the court denying the allegations, and Koziol had filed a counterclaim against Hoyt. She alleges he is leveling unfounded complaints that could negatively affect her reputation, as well as harm her financially and in terms of her health.

Read more: http://www.benningtonbanner.com/stories/house-candidate-alleges-defamation-harassment-in-online-comments,542749

Granite Shoals man convicted of child sexual abuse sentenced to 645 years in prison

A man from Granite Shoals was sentenced Tuesday to 645 years in prison for 13 separate child sexual abuse offenses, the 33rd and 424th District Attorney’s office said Wednesday.

Bryant Edward Dulin, 46, was sentenced following a jury trial that lasted seven days, the district attorney’s office said in a news release. Three separate cases against Dulin that involved three victims were consolidated into one trial.

In one case, Dulin was charged with one count of indecency with a child, nine counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child and one count of continuous sexual abuse of a young child. He also was charged in a second case with one count of sexual performance by a child, and aggravated sexual assault of a child under the age of 6 in the third case.

Evidence during the trial revealed that Dulin had sexually abused children since 2003, the release said, and the last charge against Dulin in the third case occurred in 2016.

Read more: https://www.statesman.com/news/local/granite-shoals-man-convicted-child-sexual-abuse-sentenced-645-years-prison/dnLimPRPsi36bCcx6i2nbN/

ACLU challenges Scott on social media censorship

The American Civil Liberties Union of Vermont is confronting Gov. Phil Scott for allegedly violating the First Amendment by blocking users from viewing his Facebook page and deleting some of their comments.

The ACLU wrote in a letter to the governor on Wednesday saying they have been contacted by multiple constituents who have had comments deleted and profiles blocked by the administrator of Scott’s official Facebook page.

ACLU attorney Jay Diaz said the social media censorship goes too far and violates the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and Article 13 of the Vermont Constitution, as he considers the accounts public forums for expression.

“In effect the governor is muzzling people in preventing them from commenting on his Facebook posts,” he said.

Read more: https://vtdigger.org/2018/06/20/aclu-challenges-scott-on-social-media-censorship/

Ratings agencies: Government shutdowns not a 'rating driver'

Major credit rating agencies say that state government shutdowns in isolation don’t usually lead to bond rating downgrades, complicating a narrative that’s been coming from Vermont’s state treasurer and Democratic lawmakers for weeks.

As an impasse over property taxes now encroaches upon the July 1 deadline for a new spending package, alarm is growing over the shutdown and the ramifications it could have on state agencies, employees and Vermonters who rely on public services.

The state’s sterling credit rating has also been a central point of concern on both sides of the political divide. State Treasurer Beth Pearce, a Democrat, has said the rating will be in serious jeopardy if the state reaches July 1 without a budget in place.

A lower credit rating would make it more expensive for Vermont to borrow money, exacerbating the economic pressures at the heart of the current political dispute.

Read more: https://vtdigger.org/2018/06/18/ratings-agencies-say-shutdown-not-necessarily-mean-downgrade/

Selectmen call for NRC hearing on Seabrook nuke plant evacuation plan

HAMPTON FALLS -- Selectmen are calling for a public meeting with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission on evacuation plans for towns within 10 miles of Seabrook Station, but an NRC spokesman said no such meeting is in the works.

The board sent a letter to NRC Chairwoman Kristine Svinicki dated June 1 calling for a public meeting to inform residents about evacuating the area in the event of a problem at the nuclear power plant located one town over. The letter cited concerns raised by the Massachusetts watchdog group We the People led by whistle-blower Stephen Comley, whom selectmen wrote “has been aware of serious weaknesses in the evacuation of residents in the Seacoast.”

Selectmen said in their letter they have not accepted or rejected the allegations of any group but “believe in educating the public with regards to safety and evacuation.”

NRC spokesman Neil Sheehan said the commission does not plan to hold a meeting, as off-site evacuation plans are overseen by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, not the NRC. The NRC is only responsible for on-site emergency responses at the plant, according to Sheehan. He said FEMA has continued to indicate it has a “reasonable assurance” that evacuation plans can be effectively carried out.

Read more: http://www.seacoastonline.com/news/20180620/selectmen-call-for-nrc-hearing-on-nuke-plant-evacuation

New Hampshire Democrats convention in Stratham Saturday

STRATHAM -- For the first time in more than a quarter of a century, the New Hampshire Democratic Party is bringing its annual convention to the Seacoast at Cooperative Middle School on Saturday.

Longtime state party chairman Ray Buckley noted “it’s the first time we’ve held a Seacoast convention since we held it at the UNH campus in Durham in 1992.”

State Sen. Martha Fuller Clark of Portsmouth, the party’s first vice-chair, said “it’s wonderful that they’ve decided to come to the Seacoast for this very important convention in the year that we need so hard to get the vote out everywhere.” Fuller Clark said having the convention in the Seacoast could pay dividends in November’s elections.

“We’ve always had a strong base on the Seacoast,” she said. “The challenge is to develop our support throughout Rockingham County and this will certainly raise the profile of the Democratic Party in this part of the state.”

Read more: http://www.seacoastonline.com/news/20180620/nh-democrats-convention-in-stratham-saturday

Sen. Shaheen undergoes routine surgery on benign skin growth

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) -- New Hampshire Sen. Jeanne Shaheen has had a routine surgery on a benign skin growth.

Shaheen had the procedure to treat benign basal cell carcinoma on Friday. Her office says it went well and she’s resting on the recommendation of her doctor. Shaheen is expected to return to work later this week.

On Monday, the Democratic senator will present Martin Gelb, of Derry, with the Congressional Gold Medal in recognition of his service for the Office of Strategic Services during World War II. The wartime intelligence agency was a predecessor of the CIA.

Gelb was a captain in the U.S. Army and served behind enemy lines in Nazi Germany.

Read more: http://www.seacoastonline.com/news/20180620/sen-shaheen-undergoes-routine-surgery-on-benign-skin-growth

Fed: Chemicals linked to health problems in Merrimack and surrounding communities

NASHUA – Chemicals found in Merrimack and surrounding communities are linked to serious health problems, including heart disease, low birth weight, and some cancers, according to a study the federal government released this week.

Numerous media outlets have reported Trump administration officials tried to block the study’s release. The report, created by the Agency for Toxic Substance and Disease Registry, under the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, was released Monday for public comment after mounting pressure from U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., and others.

“Too many New Hampshire families have had to wait and wonder about the potential health implications for their children and loved ones who have been exposed to PFAS-contaminated water,” Shaheen said. “I’m glad the administration heeded the bipartisan call in Congress and finally published these reports which will help further inform the public of the health risks of these chemicals.”

The report finds links between the chemicals and certain serious health concerns such as heart disease, thyroid conditions, neurological problems, low fertility, and low birth weights. The chemicals have also been linked to rendering vaccinations less effective, according to the study. The chemicals are also tied to some forms of testicular and kidney cancers, and more cancer links are being investigated. Once exposed, the chemicals are known to have a nine-year half life in the human body.

Read more: http://www.nashuatelegraph.com/news/local-news/2018/06/21/fed-chemicals-linked-to-health-problems/

Border separation controversy splitting N.H. Republicans, energizing state Democrats

New Hampshire is more than 2,000 miles from the U.S.-Mexico border, but the impact of the controversial move by President Donald Trump’s administration to separate families trying to cross the border is being felt in the Granite State.

“Distance does not make the heart grow fonder of the Trump administration’s policy of separating children from their parents,” New England College political science professor Wayne Lesperance said. “Granite Staters, like their counterparts across the country, are treated daily to heart-wrenching images of crying children being pulled from their mothers’ arms on the southern border.”

The president reversed course Wednesday afternoon, signing an executive order that he said keeps “families together while ensuring we have a powerful border.” Trump had previously stated that he had no authority to stop the separation of children from their parents.

But the move by the president – an aggressive enforcement of his “zero-tolerance” policy that separated more than 2,300 minors from their families in just over a month, according to the Department of Homeland Security – once again put New Hampshire’s Republican governor in an uncomfortable political situation.

Read more: http://www.concordmonitor.com/Sununu-Border-National-Guard-NH-18314681

Many in Puerto Rico still under tarps as storm threat looms

Hurricane Maria ripped away part of the steel roof from Carmen Lidia Torres Mercado’s home in the Puerto Rican capital. Nine months later, she is still relying on a blue plastic tarp to protect her home, even with a new storm season already two weeks old.

Torres points out where rain seeps into the bedroom of her small house in a San Juan neighborhood known as Barriada Figueroa, where the narrow streets surged with floodwaters during the Sept. 20 storm. But the 60-year-old retiree says she has no money to fix it on her own and doesn’t have the documents proving home ownership that she needs to qualify for assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

“In truth, this isn’t a suitable place to live,” Torres said in an interview at her home on a recent morning.

There are thousands of people in similar circumstances across Puerto Rico nearly nine months since the most devastating storm to strike the island in decades. Blue tarps or sturdier plastic sheets installed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are still widely visible around the island, though FEMA and local government agencies say they can’t say for certain how many roofs still need to be replaced.

Read more: http://www.concordmonitor.com/Many-in-Puerto-Rico-still-under-tarps-as-storm-threat-looms-18325929
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