Author Archives: DCG

Friday funnies!

funny

funny4

funny3

funny6

funny1

DCG

University newspaper changes its name because it ‘propagated violence’

A scary newspaper that will incite violence, oh my!

A scary newspaper that will incite violence, oh my!

Campus Reform: The student-run newspaper at the University of Mary Washington (UMW) is changing its name from The Bullet to The Blue & Gray Press over concerns that its original name carried violent connotations.

“The editorial board felt that the paper’s name, which alludes to ammunition for an artillery weapon (since when?), propagated violence and did not honor our school’s history in a sensitive manner,” the press release provided to Campus Reform states. “The board intends to remain faithful to the history our university stands upon, and we continue to honor this history both in a respectful and meaningful way.”

Alison Thoet, the paper’s editor-in-chief, told Campus Reform in an interview that the editorial board felt the old name was “a little outdated” and was more representative of the Fredericksburg, Va., community’s ties to the Civil War and not the school as a whole. “In this day and age, no one really cares about the Civil War. We wanted something that was updated,” Thoet said.

Fredericksburg, located midway between Washington, D.C., and the former Confederate capital of Richmond, Va., was the site of five major battles during the Civil War with several other battles fought nearby.

The Blue & Gray Press is representative of the university’s school colors—ironically representative of the Civil War as well—which Thoet, a senior at UMW, says better reflects the school and student body. “We want our students to be more involved and more intrigued by what’s in our paper since essentially it’s all about them,” she said.

UMW students also considered changing the name of the publication in 1971 during the Vietnam War. Thoet said that as a liberal arts school, UMW students weren’t enthusiastic about the name of the paper alluding to an artillery weapon.

According to the most recent report from UMW’s campus police, there was only one weapons arrest in 2012 and it took place off-campus and on public property. University policy prohibits any weapons—from rifles to toy guns—on campus.

The new name comes along with a complete redesign of the weekly student publication. When the new paper debuts on Sept. 4—both in print and online—it will have increased from 10 to 12 pages, be smaller in size, and have an entirely new logo.

“Observing the evolving era of journalism, which has seen a complete change of numerous university, local and national newspapers, the editorial board came to the conclusion that UMW’s student newspaper is in need of a major redesign in order to accompany the constantly developing world of modern journalism,” the press release says. “The board views a new name as an opportunity to propel the publication into the modern era.”

The name change won’t be official until UMW’s Student Activities and Engagement Office gives final approval, but the publication’s website has already changed its URL.

A representative from the Student Activities and Engagement Office did not respond to requests for comment from Campus Reform.

A spokesperson from George Washington University declined to comment on if the student newspaper, The Hatchet, would also consider changing its name as it’s an independent student publication. The editor-in-chief of The Hatchet did not respond to requests for comment from Campus Reform.

Wonder if they’ll outlaw these word/phrases on campus?

  • Bite the bullet
  • Silver bullet
  • Bulletin
  • Let the shots fly
  • Bullet proof
  • Shots rang out
  • Big shot

DCG

Dubuque teachers to monitor students’ heart rates

watching

Macon.com: Dubuque (Iowa) teachers will be able to monitor students’ heart rates through a web-based program while they exercise at school.

The program gives Dubuque Community School District teachers an idea of physical activity levels by middle school and high school students while they exercise in class, the Dubuque Telegraph Herald reported.

Students will place straps containing heart sensors around their chests. The sensors will send data about the students’ heart rates that will be projected onto a screen or wall in class while they’re exercising.

The online application that collects the data is called Polar GoFit. It also shows how close a student is to reaching his or her target heart rate and maintains a record of how long students remain in those zones.

Jackie Hart Weeber, a health and wellness teacher at the Eleanor Roosevelt Middle School, said she is excited to see how the program will affect her students’ motivation levels in class. She said the program will give students instant feedback and shows “if they are doing well or if they need to be working a bit harder.”

“I no longer have to grade students just by looking at them,” she said. “Now I know if they are really working.”

The district’s wellness coordinator, Amy Hawkins, said the program is an effort to keep students active and make exercise more rigorous.

“The district’s goal it to put an emphasis on how important health and fitness is to our youth and to our whole community,” Hawkins said. “By making the kids more aware of their fitness levels, I think it will motivate them to want to continue improving those levels.”

The district adopted Polar GoFit after seeing similar technology used in Cedar Rapids schools.

DCG

Illinois overdrew hundreds of millions of federal Medicaid dollars, audit says

corruption

thonline.com:  Illinois used faulty methods for withdrawing federal Medicaid money, resulting in “a perpetual ‘treadmill effect’” of regular overdraws of dollars that the state later had trouble repaying, federal auditors said in a report released Monday.

The state’s withdrawals exceeded its actual Medicaid spending by an average of $60 million per quarter during the three years reviewed, according to the report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Inspector General.

The federal government may have lost as much as $792,000 in interest during fiscal 2010 through 2012 because the state repaid the money two to six months later, the report said.

Meanwhile, Illinois used the money for other purposes. The state deposited the overdrawn Medicaid money directly into the state’s general revenue fund, the same fund used for transportation, education and pensions, the report said. The money was used to pay non-Medicaid expenditures because it was mixed in with other money in the fund.

Federal rules require states to limit the amount of Medicaid transfers to what the states really need and to minimize the time states hold onto the money.

A watchdog group called the report’s finding an example of Illinois’ irregular budget practices that have led to a multibillion-dollar pile of overdue bills.

“The audit clearly points out that the state has used federal Medicaid dollars to mask other financial challenges and avoid cutting spending or increasing revenue” to balance the budget, said Laurence Msall of the Civic Federation, a Chicago-based policy analysis organization.

But the report concluded that all the money obtained by Illinois was legitimately supported by state spending on the Medicaid program. That’s important, said Ralph Martire of the bipartisan Chicago-based Center for Tax and Budget Accountability.

“It’s not like the state is trying to defraud the federal government,” Martire said, although he said Illinois may have “some sloppy internal systems” it needs to fix.

Illinois “justified every dime that it claimed,” said Michael Casey, finance administer for the state’s Medicaid program at the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services. He called the repayment problems cited by the audit “a matter of timing.” (Try using that excuse with the IRS.)

Casey said that the state’s outdated, 30-year-old computer system can’t do daily calculations of federal reimbursement rates for a half-dozen different programs, making it necessary to estimate how much money to draw. The system will be replaced by the end of 2017, he said.

Medicaid is a federal and state program that pays medical expenses of the poor and disabled. In Illinois, the state and federal governments each pay for about half the program’s expenses. The Illinois Medicaid program now covers 3 million people with a budget of about $18 billion.

The federal review was part of a series related to states’ withdrawals of federal Medicaid money.

Julie Hamos

Julie Hamos

It’s the latest difficulty for Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services Director Julie Hamos, who earlier this year was hit with an Illinois audit finding the program overpaid $12.3 million for medical care for 2,850 people who were dead. (In December 2012, Julie was presented the “Excellence in Public Service Award” by Motorola Solutions Foundation, in partnership with the Civic Federation. In January 2013, Julie was named by the Chicago Tribune Business Section as one of the “People to Watch” in 2013.)

In a letter responding to the new federal audit, Hamos said her department is addressing the problem “to reduce the amounts of overdraws and underdraws of federal Medicaid funds.” Hamos said the expansion of managed care in Illinois’ Medicaid program “should allow for more consistent payment cycles and better estimates of the federal share of payments.”

Illinois has lagged behind other states in adopting managed care, which pays insurers and health networks fixed per-patient fees instead of paying separately for every appointment, surgery and test. A 2011 state law required expanding managed care to half the state’s Medicaid patients by 2015.

DCG

Bainbridge teen stages tree-sit to block shopping center development

Charles Conatzer Photo

Charles Conatzer Photo

MyNorthwest.com: When Chiara D’Angelo-Patricio learned developers planned to cut down 800 trees for a new Bainbridge Island shopping center, she burst into tears. Now, she’s taken to the treetops in hopes of halting the project.

The 19-year-old lifelong island resident scaled a 70-foot evergreen Monday morning and vows to stay up there as long as she can to protest the development at High School Road and Highway 305.

The new shopping center is expected to be home to a KeyBank branch, Bartell Drugs, restaurants and other businesses.

But Chiara argues the development isn’t needed and will have devastating impacts on local businesses. “I believe that Bainbridge needs more time to really express their frustrations with this mall and really take in what this mall is going to mean for our island, what it could mean for local businesses,” she said in an interview from the platform (made out of wood?) she erected in the treetops.

Opponents have unsuccessfully fought to stop the development for more than a year, and with logging set to begin on the property, the Western Washington University student decided it was time to act.

While she admits she’d love to see her protest stop the development, she admits the broader goal is to raise as much awareness as possible with ongoing rallies and a letter-writing campaign.

Nearly 100 people turned out for a candlelight vigil Saturday at the site, and dozens, including her mom Debra, were on hand to support her Monday from below. “I feel honored, that’s how I feel to call her my daughter,” Debra said. “We felt like somebody’s got to speak out and she did.”

Chiara won’t say how long she’s willing to stay up in the tree in what she says is the first tree-sit in the state since 1999.

“Right now, I’m feeling pretty right up here,” Chiara said. “I’m feeling pretty confident and pretty comfortable with my ground support, with the amount of food and water I have here, and really with my intention here. I feel really strong about my intention.” She also has a cell phone with a solar charger and a good book (made out of wood?) to keep her company.

But her intention might not get her very far. Ohio-based developer Visconsi had told the Bainbridge Island Police Department it planned to push for an arrest after 4 p.m. Monday, she said. Police have now given her until 4 p.m. Tuesday.

Authorities did move a cherry picker to a site nearby the protest, but whether police can or will try to remove her from the tree remains to be seen. The company has not responded to a request for comment.

Chiara, an environmental justice major at WWU (see Duke professor: College leaves liberal students ill-equipped), says she’s always had a passion for the environment of Bainbridge, especially the waters of Puget Sound, and the mall protest is just part of her dedication to preserving a quality of life she says is threatened by increased development.

“I grew up feeling very nourished by this island and I’ve seen this island really shift and change and I think it’s really time for us to say keep Bainbridge, Bainbridge.”

What’s that guitar she’s got made out of, hemp? Does she live in a mud hut? Does she recycle her toilet paper? What are the food containers made out of that she has? Were no trees cut down for the cell phone tower for her phone? Did she get a permit for that wood platform? Practice what you preach honey.

While I applaud her for having a strong opinion, breaking the law is not the best way to take a stand. Maybe she should stick to the city permit process or better yet, run for council one day so she can save all the trees.

DCG

 

Immigration case dropped for driver in deaths of Forest Grove girls

garcia

KGW.com: An immigration judge has dropped the deportation case against Cinthya Garcia-Cisneros, the woman who struck and killed two Forest Grove girls playing in piles of leaves. Brought to the U.S. from Mexico as a young child, Garcia-Cisneros had temporary permission to be in the country through the federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

“Ms. Garcia-Cisneros was released from ICE custody Aug. 14 after an immigration judge dismissed her case,” said Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokesman Andrew S. Munoz.. KXL radio first reported the news of the decision.

Munoz referred further questions to Department of Justice officials, who declined to release any details of the release to KGW.

She contacted Washington County Community Corrections officials on Monday and met with a probation officer, said assistant director Joe Simich. Her probation officially started on Jan. 31 and will end Jan. 31, 2017, he said. She was credited for time served while held by immigration officials, he said.

Under terms of her probation, she is not to contact victims and she needs to schedule her 250 hour of community service. She also surrendered her driver’s license. Simich said.

On Oct. 20, stepsisters Anna Dieter-Eckerdt, 6, and Abby Robinson, 11, were alone in the street, playing in a leaf pile when Garcia-Cisneros drove through it, felt a bump and kept going. Garcia-Cisneros, 19, was found guilty Jan. 15 on two counts of failure to perform the duties of a driver.

She was sentenced to three years probation and 250 hours of community service in a courtroom packed with the victims’ emotional friends and family. She was released from the Washington County Jail within and taken into federal custody on an immigration hold.

“Cinthya, I forgive you. I do,” Anna’s mother and Abby’s stepmother Susan Dieter-Robinson said through tears while looking straight at Garcia-Cisneros during the sentencing. “There are consequences to our behaviors. That’s what we told our girls.”

She told the court how horrible it has been to live through this tragedy in the public eye. While reading her prepared statement, Dieter-Robinson took everyone through her emotions the night of Oct. 20, 2013. She explained how it had been the perfect fall day and the girls were so happy. She wasn’t home when she got the frantic call from her husband, Tom Robinson, of the terrible news.

kids

The girls had been playing in a freshly-raked leaf pile in the street when Tom Robinson briefly went inside. That’s when Garcia-Cisneros, on her way home with her brother and boyfriend, drove through the leaves, not knowing the children were there. Both girls were killed.

“I knew it was an accident,” Dieter-Robinson cried. “The person who hit them didn’t know it had happened.”

Garcia-Cisneros testified that she heard about the deaths later and panicked. She confessed when police showed up at her door the next day.

“You made a choice not to come back and that greatly impacted how I got to say goodbye to my daughters. You were one block away, and I’m sure, scared,” Dieter-Robinson said to her.

The family asked the judge for no prison time, only probation. And before he granted that wish, it was Garcia-Cisneros’ turn. Through tears, she told the girls’ family she wished she could hug them.

Upon hearing the new Tuesday that Garcia-Cisneros would not be deported, Dieter-Robinson released the following statement to KGW:

Today is like any other day without our girls. Through our grief we have chosen to love and celebrate the joy that they have brought into our lives and the lives of so many others. We don’t want Anna and Abigail’s lives to be remember by the tragedy but rather by the love story they are all teaching us to live.

DCG

Duke professor: College leaves liberal students ill-equipped

professor

Campus Reform:  Duke professor says colleges are so left-wing that they are perpetuating ignorance and ideological bigotry.

Speaking at Milton Friedman Day in Wilmington, North Carolina, Professor Michael Munger declared that American college students face a “one-question test”: are you liberal or conservative?

The correct answer is, ‘I’m a liberal, and proud of it.’ “That concerns me,” said Munger, who chaired Duke’s Political Science department for a decade.

Munger recalled a department chair meeting where a female professor remarked that liberal students already knew the correct answer.

“I find that I don’t really need to spend much time with the liberal students, because they already have it right,” said the professor. “I spend most of my time arguing with conservative students. That’s how I spend my time in the class.”

“It’s as if we asked students to play chess, but only taught them one-move openings,” Munger complained, though he added that conservative students “study the whole game, not just the first move.”

“It may have come as a shock to the parents of these liberal students that they had learned everything they need to know…in high school,” Munger said. “Having memorized a kind of secular leftist-catechism, they were free to wander around the quads of Duke and enjoy themselves.”

Munger said a colleague at Duke coined the phrase “The Women’s Studies Nod” to explain the collective mentality of liberal students agreeing with and perpetuating the beliefs of other liberal students.

“When someone makes a ridiculously extreme, empirically unfounded but ideologically correct argument, everyone else must nod vigorously,” said Munger. “[It is] not just a, ‘Yes that’s correct,’ nod, but ‘Yes, you are correct, you are one of us, we are one spirit and one great collective shared mind’ nod.

Munger says this sense of collectivism has left liberal students unable to defend and argue their points against counterarguments and has left them ill equipped for the real world.

I’m shocked, I tell you, shocked! One only need to see examples of how liberalism is alive and well in education to understand this. See the following examples:

DCG

Take a wild guess who would win: Ben Carson Challenges Al Sharpton to a Debate

The good doctor...

The good doctor…

Mediate: Carson on Monday challenged Sharpton to a public debate on how violence across America can be tapered down, using the unrest in Ferguson, Mo., as a launching point.

“I had an opportunity to speak with Reverend Sharpton a couple months ago at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner,” Carson said on Fox News, “and said, ‘we want the same kinds of things but we have very different approaches to achieving them. What do you think about a public debate to talk about the various ways that we can get this done?’”

Carson said Sharpton was “initially enthusiastic” about the offer but they have yet to schedule a debate. “But the offer still stands,” he said. Carson is a Fox News contributor while Sharpton hosts a primetime show on MSNBC.

Sharpton has led rallies in Ferguson over the killing of unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown. Brown, who is black, was shot dead by a white officer last Saturday.

Sharpton has been accused of amping up the unrest in Ferguson, which has led to rioting and looting, according to police. We’ve requested comment from a Sharpton spokeswoman.

UPDATE — 11:48 p.m. ET: Sharpton’s spokeswoman got back to us shortly after this post published and told us Sharpton is unaware of Carson’s offer to a public debate. She said, however, that Sharpton has invited Carson onto his MSNBC program in the past and Carson has declined. The spokeswoman said Sharpton’s offer is “an open invitation” to Carson.

Bring it on!

DCG

L.A. Mayor Expects Incentives Bill to Provide Around $400 Million Per Year for Movies and TV

hollywood

Variety: Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said that he expects the authors of film and TV tax credit legislation to insert a figure “that is north of $400 million” per year, an amount that would put the state about on par with New York.

“It will be close to $400 million or just north, right around there,” Garcetti said at Burbank Airport, where he had just arrived after a trip to Sacramento to lobby Gov. Jerry Brown and state legislative leaders on the need to pass legislation that greatly expands the existing program, which is currently at $100 million per year. He said that he expected the figure to be inserted into the legislation by Monday.

The bill, AB1839, has so far passed the state Assembly with unanimous support and is making its way through the Senate, but so far with no figure attached. It would extend the existing program through 2022 and expand eligibility to include bigger budgeted feature films and most one hour-drama series, production categories that have been lost to other states in recent years. The legislation, authored by Assemblymen Raul Bocanegra (D-Pacoima) and Mike Gatto (D-Los Angeles), comes before the Senate Appropriations Committee on Thursday.

Even with a figure in the bill, there is still the question of whether such a sum will garner the support of Brown. Garcetti and six other mayors met with the governor and pressed for a significant amount, but it is unknown whether he would sign a bill at that level.

“He knows I would like a number that is competitive with New York state,” Garcetti said. “New York state is in the north of $400 million range. To us, that is very important. For us to do something that is token doesn’t stop that decline. If we get a big enough number, I think we can win this war. I think we can bring production back. I think we can see pilots starting up here, which means that shows will stay here.”

Nevertheless, when it comes to the legislation, “I wouldn’t be naive enough to say that the governor is going to come down on that exact number. But I have just watched the evolution, where this governor understands that this is a key industry, where he and his staff have told us privately we are not going to preside over its decline, and where understands it is no longer just a Southern California issue. … This governor gets it.”

Garcetti also suggested that such an amount also may enable phasing out of the program’s lottery system. Discussions are ongoing about possible amendments to the legislation and state Sen. Kevin de Leon, chairman of the Appropriations Committee, has indicated that he would like to see that issue addressed.

“A lot of people don’t apply for these credits because it is just a random lottery,” Garcetti said. “We did calculations, and if we have approximately $400 million of credits and it wasn’t on a lottery system, almost every television program and movie that applied for it that wound up getting made would have benefited from it. Everyone that left, in other words, would have been in California. That is pretty powerful testimony and a pretty powerful statistic.”

At the meeting with Brown, it wasn’t Garcetti who first brought up the topic of runaway production but San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, underscoring that the problem is not exclusive to the L.A. area. The legislation provides an extra 5% credit to productions that shoot outside a 30-mile radius centered in Los Angeles, a provision intended to win support of lawmakers outside the region.

Garcetti said at the meeting, Brown mentioned “a lot of people are talking about a very big number.” Garcetti said he argued that the state will see a program that can quickly produce “tens of thousands of jobs” and “billions of dollars” in production activity.

“I wanted to reassure him that the impact to the state budget is only a fraction of that, maybe only a single digit fraction of that,” Garcetti said. “So California can afford this, and California has to do this.”

At a press conference after the meeting, Lee noted that the upcoming movie “San Andreas” shot just four days in San Francisco, even though the movie is set there. “It is quite a bit of lost income and quite a bit of lost revenue for small businesses,” he said.

Joining Garcetti and Lee at the press conference were San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed, Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia, Oakland Mayor Jean Quan and Santa Ana Mayor Miguel Pulido.

Garcetti noted that production of drama pilots has plummeted, with just three shot in the state for the most recent season, compared to 85% of all such pilots just a few years ago. “That is a preview of coming attractions if we don’t get our act together,” he said.

See also:

DCG

Quiz time! Guess how many people were shot in Chicago over the weekend

MyFoxChicago: Five people have been killed and at least 23 others wounded in shootings across the city since Friday evening, police said.

A teenage boy was shot and killed early Sunday in the Humboldt Park neighborhood on the West Side. Police found the 16-year-old boy with a gunshot wound to the head on the sidewalk in the 900 block of North Karlov about 1:15 a.m., police said. He was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. The Cook County Medical Examiner’s office could not immediately confirm the fatality. A police source said the teen had gang affiliations.

Two people were killed and a third was wounded in a shooting Saturday night in Logan Square. The three people were in a vehicle in the 2300 block of North Springfield at 11:45 p.m. when someone walked up and opened fire at the vehicle, police said. The vehicle then struck several parked cars.

A 16-year-old boy was shot in the back and cheek and taken to Illinois Masonic, where he was pronounced dead, Greer said. A 21-year-old man was shot in the head and also taken to Masonic, where he was pronounced dead. An 18-year-old man was shot in the finger and taken to Norwegian, where he was listed in good condition. The medical examiner’s office could not immediately confirm the fatalities. A police source said all three victims have gang affiliations.

About 12:50 a.m. Saturday, a 16-year-old girl and another man, 20, were shot in the 7200 block of South Laflin, police said. The girl was dead at the scene, police said. The man was taken to Christ Medical Center where his condition had stabilized.

The medical examiner’s office identified the girl as Shaquise Buckner of the 1400 block of West 72nd Street. An autopsy Saturday determined she died from a gunshot wound to the head, and her death was ruled a homicide.

A 25-year-old man was shot and killed a block east of Chicago Police Headquarters about 11:35 p.m. Friday.

Walter Neely was found shot in the abdomen in the 3400 block of South Indiana, authorities said. Someone had approached on foot and fired at him, police said. Neely was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 11:55 p.m., authorities said. His home address was unknown Saturday afternoon. The shooting happened about one block east of police headquarters at 3510 S. Michigan Ave.

The most recent nonfatal shooting happened early Sunday morning in the Avondale neighborhood on the Northwest Side. A 23-year-old man was in the 2900 block of North Kimball about 4:35 a.m. when he was shot in the foot, possibly by someone in a vehicle driving by, police said. The man was taken to Illinois Masonic in good condition. Police said the man has gang affiliations. (Hmmm, I see a pattern here…)

At least 20 other people have been shot across the city since 6:30 p.m. Friday.

chicago2

See also:

 

DCG