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Gender: Male
Hometown: Texas
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Current location: Red Hell Texas
Member since: Sun Aug 14, 2011, 03:57 AM
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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

Frat mental health task force disbanded before start

A push to have mental health advocates in each University of Minnesota fraternity hasn’t got off the ground.

In November, the University’s Interfraternity Council created a task force that would choose several brothers to facilitate mental health aid. But uncertainty surrounding the responsibilities and the pressure that came with that role led the group to abandon the plan, said IFC Executive Vice President Ryder Byrne.

“We want them to go to the right resources and not put all that weight on one student,” he said.

Last fall, the Minnesota Daily reported that the task force’s founder, Teddy Skillings, said he wanted the advocates to receive training from the University Boynton Health or Student Counseling Services.

Read more: http://www.mndaily.com/article/2016/09/frats-mental-health

Union logs patient concerns during Allina nurses strike

When Susan Banovetz went to St. Paul’s United Hospital for surgery on her foot earlier this month, she was surprised to be asked about a kidney disease mentioned in her medical records — a kidney disease she doesn’t have.

“I actually have no medical issues other than the foot,” said Banovetz, a former mayor of Vadnais Heights. “The nurse said someone must have put the information in wrong … but it threw me for a loop.”

United is one of five Twin Cities Allina facilities where nurses are on strike. The nurse Banovetz dealt with was one of 1,500 replacement workers.

“I worry about patients in vulnerable health who can’t advocate for themselves or ask the right questions,” Banovetz said.

Read more: http://www.twincities.com/2016/09/29/union-logs-patient-concerns-during-allina-nurses-strike/

After 50 years Regency Beauty Schools close all 79 locations

A longtime Twin Cities-based beauty school abruptly closed all of its 79 locations, including five in Minnesota, this week, shocking students and stranding some of them only days before graduation.

Regency Beauty Institute, with headquarters in St. Louis Park, announced the sudden closing on its website late Wednesday, saying: “It is with great sadness that we announce that after more than 50 years of educating cosmetology students, Regency Beauty Institute is permanently closing on September 28, 2016.”

Regency is the latest in a series of for-profit trade schools that have closed in recent months.

As of last year, the school had 430 Minnesota students at locations in Blaine, Burnsville, Duluth, Maplewood and St. Cloud.

Read more: http://www.startribune.com/quick-cut-after-50-years-twin-cities-based-beauty-school-closes-all-79-locations/395255161/

Internet star Grumpy Cat to join a Broadway show - 'Cats'

NEW YORK (AP) — Life will imitate art — or is it the other way around? — when internet sensation Grumpy Cat joins the cast of the Broadway musical "Cats" on Friday for what will likely be a feline-good moment.

The kitty with the comical frown and feline dwarfism "will be worked into the end of the show and will become an honorary Jellicle Cat," according to a spokesman for the show.

Grumpy Cat has become an online phenomenon with 8.7 million Facebook followers and a career selling books, T-shirts, mugs and cat food. She's been in commercials for cereal and fast-food restaurants.

She'll likely be at home at the Neil Simon Theatre, where Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical returned this summer with a cast hissing loudly while wearing legwarmers and spiked hair.


Wirch proposes selling governor's mansion to help fund roads

MADISON — State Sen. Bob Wirch is resurrecting his idea to sell the governor's mansion, this time to help pay for road construction.

Wirch, D-Somers, who represents part of Racine County, has floated selling the executive residence multiple times since 2002. With Gov. Scott Walker proposing to delay several road projects, including Interstate 94 work in Racine County, Wirch said savings and proceeds from the sale could help Wisconsin's transportation budget.

The state's transportation deficit is projected at nearly $1 billion. Operating costs for the governor's house are about $250,500 each year, plus another $322,700 for maintenance and operations such as lawn care and snow removal, according to a press release from Wirch's office.

The combined value of the building and land is believed to be more than $2.5 million, according to the release.

Read more: http://journaltimes.com/news/local/wirch-proposes-selling-governor-s-mansion-to-help-fund-roads/article_826c0a40-0635-5902-b158-cebe3b12a37d.html


Poll results at the time of this post:

Should the state sell the governor's mansion?
Yes - 41.3%
No - 50%
Uncertain - 8.3%

Northwestern Mutual to cut 'hundreds' of jobs

Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co. plans to eliminate about 100 jobs this year and "hundreds" more in 2017, the company's top executive told employees Thursday morning.

"As we invest in our strategic priorities to meet our clients’ current and future needs, we are also committed to maintaining our strong financial position during this period of unprecedented low interest rates," Betsy Hoylman, a spokeswoman for Northwestern Mutual, said in a statement. "To balance these two goals, we’ve been evaluating how we work to better serve our clients. While we will continue to focus on hiring people with the skills we need and developing our teams, some positions will be impacted and these decisions have not been easy."

John Schlifske, the chairman and chief executive of Northwestern Mutual, made the job news official during an employee town hall meeting.

The company said earlier this month that it expected to eliminate some jobs as it dealt with lingering low interest rates that have made it harder to increase profits. Low interest rates make it more difficult for insurers to grow earnings because insurance companies invest premiums from policy owners mostly in relatively safe investments tied to rates.

Read more: http://www.jsonline.com/story/money/business/2016/09/29/northwestern-mutual-cut-hundreds-jobs/91266526/

Abele asks for $60 wheel tax for Milwaukee County in 2017

A $60 vehicle registration fee, or wheel tax, is needed beginning in 2017 to help pay for Milwaukee County's bus transit system and costs of repairing county highways and parkways, County Executive Chris Abele said Thursday.

The new fee would be a dedicated source of funding for transportation and generate around $27.1 million a year, Abele told reporters at the courthouse.

The county fee would be paid on top of the state's $75 registration fee for vehicle owners, for a total of $135. City of Milwaukee vehicle owners already pay a separate wheel tax of $20 so the total for city owners would become $155.

"No," Supervisor Michael Mayo Sr. said in response to the proposed registration fee.

Read more: http://www.jsonline.com/story/news/local/milwaukee/2016/09/29/abele-asks-60-wheel-tax-2017/91262778/

Democrats file complaint against Scott Walker over corporate fundraising

Democrats filed a complaint Thursday with the Dane County district attorney alleging Gov. Scott Walker violated state law in raising millions of dollars, including corporate donations, for the Wisconsin Club for Growth.

The complaint, signed by 16 Democratic legislators, asks Dane County District Attorney Ismael Ozanne to investigate whether Walker violated a ban on corporate contributions to political candidates, an ethics code prohibition on elected officials using their position to raise money for a nonprofit with which they are associated, and an ethics code prohibition on promising to take certain actions in exchange for something of value.

That last allegation relates to a statement Walker made last week in which he told reporters that many people would question the need for additional resources for district attorneys if Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm continued to pursue the John Doe investigation into his recall campaign after the U.S. Supreme Court rules on the matter.

Democrats said it’s a potential felony for an elected official to refrain from taking action, such as funding district attorney positions, in exchange for something of value, such as not being under investigation.

Read more: http://host.madison.com/wsj/news/local/govt-and-politics/democrats-file-complaint-against-scott-walker-over-corporate-fundraising/article_b73c4182-8231-5d7c-b4c6-f6ca922748f3.html

Five Wisconsin insurers will offer standardized health plans in 2017, according to advocacy group

Five insurance companies operating in Wisconsin have said they will offer standardized health plans in 2017, the advocacy group Citizen Action of Wisconsin announced Thursday.

Citizen Action of Wisconsin executive director Robert Kraig called those plans "low out-of-pocket health plans," as they carry no deductibles for some medical services including primary care visits for injuries and illness, prescriptions and specialist visits.

The Obama administration issued new regulations for the creation of these standardized plans earlier this year, but participation was made voluntary and left up to states to implement.

Citizen Action and some Democratic state lawmakers have since lobbied insurance companies in Wisconsin to offer the plans, and five companies have confirmed they will do so starting in 2017:

Common Ground Healthcare Cooperative
Molina Healthcare
Network Health
Group Health Cooperative of South Central Wisconsin

Read more: http://host.madison.com/ct/news/local/govt-and-politics/election-matters/five-wisconsin-insurers-will-offer-standardized-health-plans-in-according/article_7467c401-6956-5aeb-bec9-3e27b68c712d.html

UW-Madison cuts student workers’ hours, citing Affordable Care Act

UW-Madison is cutting the work week of its student employees to no more than 29 hours to conform to requirements of the Affordable Care Act, a move some student workers say will make it harder for them to stay in school.

“With less hours, many students will have to juggle two jobs, and that will definitely hurt academic success,” undergraduate student worker Reid Kurkerewicz said in comments provided by the Student Labor Action Coalition (SLAC).

“UW-Madison student workers would love to work less hours so they can put their academics first, but Chancellor Blank refuses to pay a living wage, making that impossible for many working class students,” said Jia Gonitzke, an undergraduate student worker.

Student leaders at SLAC, whose mission is to engage students in labor issues, say they are concerned that not only student workers, but other limited term employees of the UW-Madison will see cuts to their hours so that the university doesn’t have to offer them health insurance.

Read more: http://host.madison.com/ct/news/local/education/university/uw-madison-cuts-student-workers-hours-citing-affordable-care-act/article_fb5bac68-5ad2-5209-a77e-68dba043332a.html
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