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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: 83,349

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

Health union rallies as contract deadlines loom at three Hackensack Meridian hospitals

Health care workers at three of Hackensack Meridian Health's hospitals in Hudson and Monmouth counties rallied on Wednesday in a show of union solidarity as contract deadlines affecting 2,500 employees loom.

The ongoing contract talks mark the first time four union locals have negotiated together with Hackensack Meridian, which was formed in 2016 through the merger of Hackensack University Health Network and Meridian Health.

The locals are members of Health Professionals and Allied Employees, the state's largest health-care union, with about 13,000 members.

Two locals — representing about 1,000 employees at Palisades Medical Center in North Bergen and 250 at The Harborage, its affiliated nursing home — were the first unionized nurses to join Hackensack's workforce when Palisades was acquired in early 2016, shortly before the larger system was formed.

Read more: https://www.northjersey.com/story/news/health/2018/06/27/health-union-rallies-contract-hackensack-meridian-hospitals/732756002/

Chris Christie closing in on purchasing multimillion-dollar home in Bay Head

Former Gov. Chris Christie is closing in on purchasing a multimillion-dollar house in Bay Head, not far from the birthplace of Scientology and home to a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member of one of his favorite bands, The Record and NorthJersey.com has learned.

The purchase of the four-bedroom, five-bathroom home just steps from the beach is in its final stages, according to a document filed June 12 with the Ocean County clerk. Christie and his wife, Mary Pat, have 60 days from the filing date to close on the home, according to the clerk's office.

Christie had been looking since at least 2016 at purchasing a home in Bay Head, one of the most exclusive ZIP codes in New Jersey. And if he does close on the house, the Christie family's ties to Ocean County will be even stronger. His father, Bill, lives in Waretown, and his brother, Todd, has a home in neighboring Point Pleasant Beach.

Christie would have some familiar neighbors, too. The East Avenue house he intends to purchase is next door to a home owned by David Bryan, the keyboardist for Bon Jovi, one of Christie's favorite bands. Republican Sen. Tom Kean Jr. also has a home in Bay Head, as does conservative Star-Ledger columnist Paul Mulshine, who first reported in 2016 that Christie had been house hunting in town.

Read more: https://www.northjersey.com/story/news/new-jersey/governor/2018/06/26/chris-christie-bay-head-nj-house/734117002/

Suspended New Jersey high school principal issues notice of $5 million lawsuit

SECAUCUS – The high school principal suspended in April over his handling of a student who was allegedly caught with marijuana and a knife has suffered emotional distress, embarrassment, and damage to his chiropractic office as a result, according to a notice sent to the school district.

Dr. Robert Berckes has signaled his intent to file a lawsuit of up to $5 million against Secaucus Superintendent Jennifer Montesano and all nine members of the school board. As many as 10 additional defendants could be added to the potential lawsuit.

The tort claims notice, obtained through a records request, was sent to Montesano on June 5.

Berckes, in the filing, says he was notified by Assistant Principal Jeffrey Case that a small amount of marijuana was found in the shoe of a student. Berckes and Case allegedly showed Montesano the bag and she asked what he planned to do with the marijuana. Berckes said he told Montesano he would give it to the police officer stationed at the school, who said it should be flushed down the toilet, the notice indicates.

Read more: https://www.nj.com/hudson/index.ssf/2018/06/suspended_principal_signals_at_5_million_lawsuit_a.html

Phil Murphy offers tax hike deal to break N.J. budget impasse

Gov. Phil Murphy on Tuesday pitched a state budget compromise to fellow Democrats who control the state Legislature that would raise New Jersey's sales, income and business taxes.

A letter from Murphy to lawmakers circulated Tuesday afternoon outlines the latest volley in heated budget negotiations leading up to the deadline Saturday. It remains undetermined whether the stalemate ends in a compromise, government shutdown or $855 million in spending cuts.

Murphy says in the letter he's unwilling the accept the budget the Legislature passed last week. He has said that budget, which raises the Corporation Business Tax on the state's largest businesses to the highest level in the U.S., would leave the budget with a $104 million deficit and no emergency reserves.

"I remain ... unable to certify that the revenues contained in this budget are sufficient to fund the programs we all support. Failure to provide sufficient funding places all of these programs at risk," Murphy wrote.

Read more: https://www.nj.com/politics/index.ssf/2018/06/phil_murphy_offers_tax_hike_deal_to_break_nj_budge.html

Chris Christie stripped of his State Police security ahead of schedule

When a New Jersey governor leaves office, they are given six months of State Police security detail.

But former Gov. Chris Christie's will end a few weeks early.

Gov. Phil Murphy's predecessor is set to have his security detail stripped Saturday, two sources with knowledge of the State Police's plans told NJ Advance Media on the condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to talk openly about the State Police's Executive Protection Unit.

The decision to end Christie's after-office protection comes from Murphy's administration, not the State Police, the sources said.

Christie's detail will end about two weeks ahead of the six-month mark the security would officially conclude. He left office on Jan. 16.

Read more: https://www.nj.com/politics/index.ssf/2018/06/chris_christie_stripped_of_his_state_police_securi.html

In these tough times sacrifices have to be made.

N.J. legal marijuana legislation stalls, and lawmakers punt it to the summer

Don't hold your breath for movement on legislation to legalize marijuana in New Jersey before Saturday's state budget deadline.

State legislators and industry insiders say it's going to be kicked down the road until after the state gets a budget.

State Sen. Nicholas Scutari, D-Union, who proposed his recreational/medicinal marijuana mashup just three weeks ago, told NJ Advance Media there'll be no push to get legislation done this week but he believes it could be hashed out over the next month.

Scutari also announced this and other points about legalization and expansion plans to industry operators, lobbyists and social justice advocates at a meeting on Friday at Galloping Hills Country Club, according to a half-dozen people who attended the meeting.

Read more: https://www.nj.com/marijuana/2018/06/legislature_stalls_on_cannabis_legislation_punts_i.html

I wonder if these are these are the same people that say that stoners are lazy and procrastinate?

Led by Democrats and young adults, most Texas voters want to legalize marijuana, UT/TT Poll finds

By Ross Ramsey, Texas Tribune

More than half of the state’s registered voters believe marijuana should be legalized in the state, according to the latest University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll.

Overall, 53 percent of the state’s voters would legalize pot either in small amounts (30 percent) or any amounts (23 percent). Another 31 percent would legalize marijuana only for medical purposes. Only 16 percent said possession of marijuana should remain illegal under any circumstances.

That majority hides significant differences. While two-thirds of Democrats would legalize marijuana for nonmedical uses, only 39 percent of Republicans would do so.

“Texas is going to be slow, but it’s going that way,” said Daron Shaw, a government professor at the University of Texas at Austin and co-director of the poll. “In some ways the handwriting is on the wall, and it’s pretty clear. Public opposition is diminishing, and if the economic or tax arguments change, it’s hard to see what would keep pot from getting on the agenda.”

Read more: https://www.texastribune.org/2018/06/27/marijuana-democrats-young-adults-texas-poll/

Abbott endorses Michael Cloud to finish term of disgraced congressman

Appearing eager to avoid a potentially expensive runoff for a special election in a coastal congressional district hard hit by Hurricane Harvey, Gov. Greg Abbott has endorsed Michael Cloud in the nine-way race to finish out the term of a disgraced former congressman.

With the resignation of former U.S. Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Corpus Christi, in April, in the wake of revelations that he had used taxpayer money to settle a sexual harassment claim leveled by one of his congressional staffers, Abbott had used his emergency powers related to disaster relief to call the Saturday special election to fill out Farenthold’s term.

The Abbott endorsement comes after Cloud, the former chairman of the Victoria County GOP, won the backing of Bech Bruun, Cloud’s chief Republican primary opponent. In May, Cloud beat Bruun decisively in the runoff to be the Republican nominee in the conservative district in the November general election.

“With Michael Cloud, the voters of the 27th District will be sending a proven conservative to Washington who will represent their interests and restore integrity to the office,” Abbott said in a video endorsement message.

Abbott said he called the election to make sure the district had a voice in Washington as it vies for Harvey relief money, but critics of the election, including Farenthold, said it’s unnecessary and costly. The election could cost as much as $200,000. And if none of the nine candidates wins more than 50 percent of the vote, the 13 counties in the district, including Bastrop and Caldwell, will have to pay again to hold a runoff, likely in September.

Read more: https://www.mystatesman.com/news/abbott-endorses-michael-cloud-finish-term-disgraced-congressman/Dx1INCLessuMFlknz7GymN/

No thank you, Gov. Abbott. I will be voting for the Democratic nominee, Eric Holguin, to replace "Duck-Jammies" Farenthold.

Court denies injunction in Austin's paid sick leave ordinance

A Travis County state district court judge has ruled against a request to put Austin’s paid sick leave ordinance on hold while it remain challenged in court by a coalition of business interest groups.

Judge Tim Sulak made the ruling after hearing two days of testimony and argument from the Texas Public Policy Foundation, the city of Austin, the state and a workers advocacy group.

Sulak also ruled that the Workers Defense Project can no longer be a party to the lawsuit.

Read more: https://www.statesman.com/news/breaking-court-denies-injunction-austin-paid-sick-leave-ordinance/e2pPmnKCBLa5Nambn9BUUJ/

In Oklahoma, Republicans ousted over teacher pay

It was a mixed bag for teachers running for political office in Oklahoma but a bad night for incumbent Republicans who voted against a tax package earlier this year to fund a teacher pay raise.

Several GOP incumbents who voted against the tax hikes were either ousted from office or pulled into a runoff against a fellow GOP opponent, a signal some teacher candidates say bodes well for them in November.

Of the 10 "no" voters in the House who were running for re-election, two were defeated outright on Tuesday night — Reps. Chuck Strohm of Jenks and Scott McEachin of Tulsa. Seven others were pulled into an Aug. 28 primary runoff against fellow Republicans.

Four other Republican incumbents lost on Tuesday, including one who lost to a teacher.

Read more: https://www.mysanantonio.com/news/politics/article/The-Latest-Confusion-in-Maryland-primary-voting-13027639.php
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