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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: 78,484

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

Former Temple employee wins $850K in age-discrimination suit

A jury awarded a former executive assistant at Temple University $850,000 in damages in a federal age-discrimination lawsuit last week.

In the suit, first filed in 2016, Ruth Briggs, 63, alleged that the day before her 57th birthday, her supervisor in the computer and information sciences department told her that “in China, they put women out to pasture at your age.” (The supervisor, Jie Wu, chairs the department; he has worked as a professor at Temple since 2009.)

Briggs, a 13-year employee at Temple, alleged that after that comment, she was disciplined in writing, and over the next two years came to believe that Wu was trying to push her out of the department because of her age. She said in the suit that human resources staffers at Temple were unhelpful and that she was disciplined frequently and disproportionately over minor infractions. Eventually, she resigned in 2014 after Temple threatened to fire her — over what the school said was unsatisfactory work and what Briggs said was her continued complaints about Wu.

In its initial response to the suit, Temple denied Wu had made such comments or tried to fire Briggs. The school argued that Briggs had resigned because of poor job performance — missing meetings and arriving late to work — and that disciplinary actions taken against her were appropriate.

Read more: http://www.philly.com/philly/education/former-temple-employee-wins-850k-in-age-discrimination-suit-20180721.html

Too sick for prison? Main Line's 'godfather of payday lending' makes last-minute pitch to avoid lock

Too sick for prison? Main Line's 'godfather of payday lending' makes last-minute pitch to avoid lockup

Lawyers for a Main Line man dubbed the “godfather of payday lending” pushed Monday to postpone the start of his 14-year prison term, arguing that putting the ailing 77-year-old behind bars would be the equivalent of signing his death warrant.

Charles M. Hallinan, who was convicted last year in a federal racketeering case, is battling two aggressive forms of cancer and a host of other health-related maladies, his lawyers said in a last-minute pitch to U.S. District Judge Eduardo Robreno a week before their client is scheduled to turn himself in.

They pleaded with the judge to stay the punishment while Hallinan appeals his case and continues to receive chemotherapy and other treatments they said are necessary to keep him alive.

“It would be inhumane to make a decision to send a defendant like this to jail while his treatment is ongoing,” defense lawyer Michael Rosencraft said. “Interrupting his treatment at this point will endanger his life. I don’t say that lightly, and I’m not exaggerating.”

Read more: http://www.philly.com/philly/news/pennsylvania/philadelphia/charles-hallinan-prison-sentence-payday-lending-philadelphia-cancer-robreno-20180723.html

Democratic ward leaders pick State Rep. O'Brien's chief of staff to succeed him

Despite pushback from Democratic committee people, Mary Isaacson, the chief of staff to Democratic State Rep. Michael O’Brien, on Monday was chosen to replace him on the November ballot, after he reportedly quit the 175th District race last week.

Four of the district’s five Democratic ward leaders — Michael Boyle, the Fifth Ward leader who had nominated Isaacson; Theresa Alicea, 18th Ward; Peg Rzepski, 31st; and Thomas Johnson, 25th — voted for Isaacson, said Second Ward Leader Nikil Saval.

O’Brien filed paperwork to have his name withdrawn from the ballot Wednesday, citing health issues, according to City and State Pa., and several of the district’s Democratic committee people criticized the swiftness of the process.

They urged the ward leaders to postpone the meeting a week and allow more candidates to be considered, said Jon Geeting, committee person in the 18th Ward, and Neil Makhija, a Fifth Ward committee person.

Read more: http://www.philly.com/philly/news/politics/175th-district-ward-leaders-rep-obrien-isaacson-successor-november-20180723.html

Houston mayor's former press secretary surrenders to sheriff after indictment

Darian Ward, the former press secretary for Mayor Sylvester Turner, surrendered Monday to the Harris County Sheriff’s Office after being indicted on charges of failing to comply with the Texas Public Information Act, KPRC-TV 2 reported.

Ward was indicted Thursday on a felony charge for failing to turn over thousands of pages of work emails in response to a public records request. She faces up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.

The source of Ward’s legal problems started in 2014, when she became press secretary for then-Mayor Annise Parker. Over the next four years, Ward used government time to try to promote a number of side projects, including a proposed TV show called “My First Million.”

Ward then failed to turn over emails showing how she was using her city work time — leading to the recent public-records indictment.

Ward’s bond was set at $500. She made bond on Monday, court records show.

Read more: https://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/Houston-mayor-s-former-press-secretary-13099081.php

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick has "no plans" to debate Democratic opponent Mike Collier

By Patrick Svitek, Texas Tribune

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick does not intend to debate his Democratic challenger, Mike Collier, before Election Day, according to Patrick's campaign.

"It’s no secret Lt. Governor Patrick relishes debates, but since his opponent shows no sign of grasping even the most basic rudiments of state government, our campaign has no plans to debate him," Patrick strategist Allen Blakemore said in a statement to the Tribune. "There isn’t anyone in the Lone Star State who isn’t absolutely clear about where Dan Patrick stands on the issues. He told us what he was going to do, then he did it. That’s why Dan Patrick has the overwhelming support of the conservative majority in Texas."

Collier has not formally challenged Patrick to any debates but has needled him on Twitter over the topic, suggesting the incumbent will not spar with him because he does not want to discuss his record.

"The Lt. Governor is rejecting debates before invitations are even sent out by media," Collier said in a statement. "As I assumed he would, he’s dodging and refusing to answer for his record."

Read more: https://www.texastribune.org/2018/07/23/lt-gov-dan-patrick-no-plans-debate-democratic-opponent-mike-collier/

Fifth body found at scene of deadly San Marcos apartment fire, officials say

A fifth body has been recovered from the scene of last week’s deadly apartment fire in San Marcos, city officials said.

Officials have taken the bodies to the Travis County Medical Examiner’s office, and it could take more than a week to identify them, San Marcos officials said.

So far, officials have not identified what caused the fire and said the investigation could take months.

Haley Frizell, Dru Estes, James Miranda, Belinda Moats and David Ortiz had been reported missing after the fire.

Read more: https://www.statesman.com/news/local/authorities-provide-update-deadly-san-marcos-apartment-fire/ff1PqVH0mWIq1BwkS9fJsO/

Trump supporters tried to get 'Baby Trump' balloon activist fired from homeless shelter

Trump supporters tried to get a Hillsborough man fired from his job at a homeless family shelter over his activism. But it backfired, and is instead motivating Didier Jimenez-Castro to make his protests go even more viral.

Jimenez-Castro, an organizer of the movement to bring the Baby Trump balloon to New Jersey, said his job was in jeopardy after defenders of the president contacted his employer, alleging he was misrepresenting the organization in his activism.

However, the 29-year-old said he never brought his places of work into the protest, or named them. He believes Trump supporters may have found his employer through Facebook, and began calling and emailing the organization, where he works with homeless families.

When his higher-ups first spoke to him about the complaints, he "thought it was going to blow up" and he'd lose his job, Jimenez-Castro said.

Read more: https://www.nj.com/politics/index.ssf/2018/07/trump_supporters_tried_to_get_baby_trump_balloon_activist_fired_from_homeless_shelter.html

Hugin doubled price of live-saving cancer drug, report says

Group finds GOP Senate candidate blocked generic drug, made $140 million profit by keeping prices high

Jackie Trapp was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a terminal but treatable blood cancer in 2015. After chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant, she was put on Revlimid, a live-saving cancer drug that costs $21,197 a month. Even with good health insurance, Revlimid costs her nearly $20,000 a year in out of pocket expenses.

“We’ve blown through the bank accounts. They’re pretty much empty. We had to refinance our house,” Trapp said about the cost of the drug, which is manufactured by New Jersey-based pharmaceutical giant Celgene.

The profits off Revlimid made Bob Hugin, the former Celgene chairman and CEO, more than $140 million, according to a report issued today by Patients for Affordable Drugs Action, a Super PAC which is spending a reported $1.5 million on a TV ad that opposes Hugin’s campaign for the United States Senate.

Hugin is spending some of that money to self-finance his challenge to two-term Democratic U.S. Senator Bob Menendez.

Read more: https://newjerseyglobe.com/fr/hugin-doubled-price-of-live-saving-cancer-drug-report-says/

Hugin slammed for anti-women, anti-gay record

The newest issue in the already heated race for United States Senate is Bob Hugin’s record on women and gays after news broke last week that as a Princeton University student – and alumni – he was part of a private eating club that fought to block women from becoming members.

So far, all voters really know about Hugin is what he’s said about himself and his opponent on television, where he’s spent about $1 million a week in a self-funded campaign to oust two-term U.S. Senator Bob Menendez. Menendez has not spent money attacking Hugin.

The former Celgene chairman went public with his role as president of Princeton’s Tiger Club last week, likely to get out in front of the issue before others attacked him for it.

“Everyone evolves over time. I view many things differently today than I did 25 years ago,” said Hugin. “Personally, I wish I had taken a leadership role in making it happen sooner.”

Read more: https://newjerseyglobe.com/congress/hugin-slammed-for-anti-women-anti-gay-record/

Judge orders company to stop threatening unionizing workers at N.J. warehouse

A U.S. District Court judge in New Jersey has ordered Lifetime Brands, the company behind such names as KitchenAid and Mikasa, to reinstate two employees it is alleged to have fired for attempting to unionize.

Judge Brian Martinotti on Tuesday ordered a temporary injunction against Lifetime Brands, Inc., saying he found reasonable cause to believe the company committed unfair labor practices at its Robbinsville warehouse when it terminated employees engaged in this protected union activity.

As part of the temporary order, Lifetime Brands was ordered to stop discharging or discriminating against employees who support unionization, to stop interrogating employees over their union support, to refrain from offering employees promotions to "induce" employees to withdraw their support for unionization, and to no longer threaten to close the warehouse or fire employees if they choose representation.

The case is scheduled before a NLRB administrative law judge July 31.

Read more: https://www.nj.com/politics/index.ssf/2018/07/company_ordered_to_rehire_stop_threatening_unioniz.html
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