Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement In Italy, she will lead members of a still-to-be-named presidential delegation to the Milan Expo and highlight her program to combat childhood obesity. The Milan world’s fair opened May 1 for a six-month run with the theme of “Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life.”The U.S. delegation will tour the American pavilion at the expo and participate in activities to support healthier families.While in Italy, Mrs. Obama will also visit U.S. service members stationed in Vicenza as part of her work supporting military families.Unannounced cultural stops are on tap for Venice.The first lady will be accompanied by daughters Malia and Sasha, and her mother, Marian Robinson.___Follow Darlene Superville on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/dsupervilleapCopyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. ErrorOK ErrorOK New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Men’s health affects baby’s health too Comments Share Top Stories Top ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Day Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Sponsored Stories WASHINGTON (AP) — Michelle Obama plans to put an international spin on her core initiatives when she visits Europe later this month.The first lady’s itinerary includes stops in London and the Italian cities of Milan, Vicenza and Venice from June 15-21, the White House said Thursday.Her first stop is London, where Mrs. Obama will meet with students to discuss how the U.S. and the United Kingdom are collaborating to help young girls around the world attend and stay in school. She promoted the “Let Girls Learn” initiative during stops in Japan and Cambodia in March. 5 people who need to visit the Ultrastar Multi-tainment Center
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Categories: Hernandez News,News State Rep. Shane Hernandez of Port Huron today joined a bipartisan effort to make Michigan’s state government more accountable by broadening public records disclosure laws.Hernandez joined House members unveiling legislation to make state representatives and senators subject to a law paralleling the Freedom of Information Act. The legislation also broadens FOIA to include the governor and lieutenant governor.The bills are similar to ones approved by the House last session, but the legislation did not reach the governor’s desk for approval.Michigan is one of a very few states where Freedom of Information laws do not apply to the governor’s office or Legislature in the same way they do to local governments and public schools.“We are way behind the times in this area,” Hernandez said. “These new bills are a way to empower the people, and give them the tools they need to help find out what’s going on in their state government.”The Michigan House already has moved to make more information easily available to the public. Last month, the House posted the salary of every representative and employee on its website.### 01Feb Rep. Hernandez: New proposal empowers the people by expanding FOIA
Bipartisan legislative package forgives all debt 02Nov Rep. Kahle casts vote to end driver responsibility fees Categories: Kahle News,News State Rep. Bronna Kahle of Adrian today voted to end driver responsibility fees by 2018 and forgive all outstanding debt.The driver responsibility fees were implemented in 2003 as a way to balance the budget while deterring potentially dangerous driving behavior. Since then, thousands of Lenawee County residents have been burdened with the fees, which meant many have had to leave the workforce because of lack of transportation or were forced to drive illegally to support their families.“The elimination of the driver’s responsibility fees is long overdue,” Kahle said. “Ending these fees will ease the financial burden on families throughout Lenawee County and give them the opportunity to get back their driver’s licenses and get back to work.”The bipartisan package of eight bills ends driver responsibility fees on Oct. 1, 2018, and forgives all debt owed in relation to the fees. Between the passage of the bill and October 1, people owing fees will be able to participate in community service or workforce development programs to fulfill their obligations.“So many of the people paying driver responsibility fees have been under financial stress and it is time to get rid of these fees,” Kahle said. “Let’s give them a fresh start, restore their driving privileges and they will have a chance to succeed.”The bills now go to the Senate for consideration.#####The bills are House Bills 5040-5046, 5079 and 5080.
07Feb House approves Rep. Miller’s bill protecting surviving spouses from pension tax penalties Categories: Miller News,News The Michigan House today overwhelmingly approved Rep. Aaron Miller’s bill protecting surviving spouses from penalties related to the state’s pension tax.“The intent of this legislation is simple and straightforward,” said Miller, of Sturgis, after the House approved his bill. “We want to make sure a surviving spouse is not burdened with higher taxes when their older partner passes away. It’s the right thing to do so seniors, many of whom are on fixed incomes, aren’t saddled with higher and unexpected taxes after the death of their loved one.”The clarification is needed because Michigan’s tax on retirement income has three tiers based on the year a taxpayer is born. The income tax benefits often are best for those born before 1946. Pension taxes start to phase in for those born from 1946 through 1952, and the taxes are fully phased in for those born after 1952.Because of these varying taxation levels, couples with spouses in different age tiers often choose to file joint tax returns using the age of the older spouse. Miller’s bill will allow a surviving younger spouse to continue filing with the deceased older spouse’s age as long as the surviving spouse does not remarry.House Bill 5034 advances to the Senate for further consideration.
Categories: LaSata News 08May LaSata votes to oppose proposed kayak tax Tags: Kayak Tax, Tourism Legislator: There will be no paddle watercraft fees in MichiganState Rep. Kim LaSata today voted in support of a resolution opposing the Michigan State Waterways Commission’s proposed “kayak tax,” which would require all kayaks, canoes and paddle boards to be registered with the state.LaSata said people should not be penalized for supporting the state’s tourism industry, especially considering participation in paddle sports increases at a rate of 7 percent each year in Michigan.“The ability to enjoy Michigan waterways from a paddle watercraft is one of the greatest things our state has to offer,” said LaSata, of Bainbridge Township. “I do not support any proposal that might deter participation in this wonderful pastime. The resolution we passed today sends a message to the Waterways Commission that we will not pursue a paddle watercraft tax of any kind.”The House approved the resolutions with overwhelming, bipartisan support.###
09May Rep. Kahle invites residents to in-district office hours Categories: Kahle News State Rep. Bronna Kahle of Adrian invites Lenawee County residents to join her for office hours on Friday, May 11 from noon to 1:30 p.m. at the Lenawee District Library, 4459 W. U.S 223 in Adrian.“I enjoy the opportunity to connect with people in the community and hear what matters most to them,” Rep. Kahle said. “I look forward to listening to our neighbors, addressing their concerns and working through solutions for the people of Lenawee County.”No appointments are necessary. Those unable to attend may contact Rep. Kahle’s office at (517) 373-1706 or BronnaKahle@house.mi.gov.
29May Rep. Hoitenga announces district photo contest Categories: Hoitenga News Rep. Michele Hoitenga of Manton announced today she will host a photo contest for residents of the 102nd District. The theme for the contest is summer fun.Three winners will be selected by the representative, and the winning photos will be displayed in her Lansing office. The photographers will be invited to join her in Lansing to unveil the pictures.“People come from all around the state to visit our region and take advantage of the excellent trails, lakes, and festivals we have to offer,” Hoitenga said. “There is no better way to decorate the office than by showing off our district.”Photos may be emailed to MicheleHoitenga@house.mi.gov or mailed to S-1386 House Office Building, P.O. Box 30014 Lansing, MI 48909. Qualified participants must live within the district that Hoitenga serves, and photo submissions should include name, address and contact information of the individual. The deadline to submit a photo is September 1.Questions about this contest may be directed to (517) 373-1747 or MicheleHoitenga@house.mi.gov.
Share1TweetShareEmail1 Shares August 6, 2014;Washington PostIt sounds like good news, but it is not: More than one third of hospice patients leave hospice care alive. These figures are drawn from a study published in the Journal of Palliative Medicine, based on an analysis of more than 1 million records of Medicare patients during 2010.What makes this bad news is that hospice care is designed for those who are dying. Experts say that the high numbers of those leaving alive probably reflect either inadequate care or hospices taking in patients who are not facing end of life in order to fill beds and increase profits. A more reasonable number to be released before death would be approximately 15 percent.Some hospices are, according to W.T. Geary, Jr., medical director at the Alabama Department of Public Health, essentially dumping patients when their care becomes too expensive, abandoning “their end stage residents to the nearest hospital ER and have the legal representative sign the [hospice] revocation papers—all to save money and avoid intensive continuous care at the end of life.”Free Download: Naomi Levine’s Expert Fundraising TipsAccording to the study:“Hospice programs that exceed their aggregate reimbursement caps (a marker for hospices with an excessive average hospice length of stay) had nearly double the rate of live discharges compared to hospice programs that did not exceed their aggregate cap. Over 7 percent of live discharges were hospitalized almost immediately after discharge and then reentered hospice shortly thereafter, accounting for $95.1 million of hospital expenditures. Smaller newer for-profit hospice programs were more likely to have a higher rate of live discharges. These results suggest that live discharges may be an important vulnerability of the current Medicare hospice benefit.”On the other hand, more than one in three patients released alive from hospices were still alive and not in hospice six months after being released, indicating that some hospices are enrolling people who are not meeting the guidelines.Beyond the financial costs, enrollment in hospice care when the need is not really there may expose patients to unnecessarily powerful drugs which, in some cases, may lead to death where it might not otherwise have occurred.The Nonprofit Quarterlyhas written previously about the fact that between 2010 and 2012, the proportion of for-profit companies in hospice care had nearly doubled, and that for-profits now constituted 60 percent of the field, expanding from 672 to 2,196 between 2000 and 2012.—Ruth McCambridgeShare1TweetShareEmail1 Shares
Share43TweetShare4Email47 SharesDowntown Street Art Diptych / Laura SanchezJune 19, 2016; KGBT-TV (Rio Grande Valley, TX)More than 50 percent of the public school students in Texas are Hispanic, a demographic that, according to the Hobby Center at Rice University, is expected to grow to 67 percent by 2050. So it is no surprise that more than 200 teachers and community members showed up last Saturday in San Antonio to address the issue of Mexican-American studies in the state. The summit’s goals were to identify institutional barriers to developing Mexican-American studies programs and to scope out a plan of action for introducing the programs into additional districts beyond the fewer than 10 districts that presently offer the curriculum. But of particular note in the discussions was the sole textbook submitted to the Texas State Board of Education in its call for materials that could be used by districts wishing to implement the curriculum. The book, entitled Mexican American Heritage, has been broadly criticized and described as inaccurate, politically biased and, in the words of one State Board of Education member, “an intentional changing of our history.”As Paul A. Reyes writes in an opinion piece for CNN Opinion: The problem? For starters, the Mexican American Heritage text asserts that some Mexican-Americans during the civil rights era of the 1960s “opposed Western civilization and wanted to destroy this society.” It links Mexican-Americans to the drug trade and illegal immigration and says that Mexican-Americans are ambivalent about assimilating into the United States.Mexican-American Heritage is believed to have been published by Momentum Instruction, which develops instructional materials aligned with districts and schools. One of the book’s contributors is Cynthia Dunbar, a Christian activist and former Texas State Board of Education member who, while she was serving, called the public education system “tyrannical” and published a book, One Nation Under God: How the Left is Trying to Erase What Made Us Great. According to the School Library Journal, Dunbar sits at the helm of Momentum Instruction. The politics of offering ethnic studies programs alongside traditional public school curricula are well known. Just last year, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that a ban on ethnic studies in the Arizona public schools was not “overbroad, but may have violated students’ equal protection rights.” The ban was put into effect in 2010 when Governor Jan Brewer signed a law prohibiting schools from teaching classes designed for students of a particular ethnic group or risk losing up to 10 percent of their state funds. Both proponents of the ban and activists opposed to it are following the ruling closely, as it allows plaintiffs in Arizona to present evidence at trial to determine whether Arizona legislators enacted the law with a discriminatory intent. The Arizona ban was specifically targeted against Mexican studies classes in Tucson that Tom Horne, the then-state superintendent of public instruction, called “harmful and dysfunctional.” His successor, John Huppenthal, went further, claiming the classes encouraged Latino students to “hate other races.” He garnered public attention at the time when he maintained that the use of the song “Take the Power Back” by Rage Against the Machine in a Mexican-American history class advocated the overthrow the U.S. government.Ironically, as J. Weston Phippen wrote in the Atlantic following the Ninth Circuit Court’s ruling, the action in Arizona spurred a movement to duplicate that Mexican-American studies class in classrooms across the country, spreading at a “rate that no one could have imagined before Arizona banned the class in 2010.”As Curtis Acosta, a former teacher at Tucson High Magnet School, put it at the time, the Mexican-American studies program was a way to “engage those students who found school rote and unexciting, or those who might otherwise drop out.” In fact, as Phippen noted in his article, educational research, including a report published by the University of Arizona, demonstrates a link between offering the program and increased graduation rates, higher grades, better test scores, and college enrollment. In 2002, the Tucson school district began collecting data showing that students who participate in these courses perform better on AIMS, the state’s standardized test, than students who do not. When organizers began planning for the Texas summit, the number of attendees was not expected to exceed sixty, much less the more than 200 that showed up. No doubt interest was heightened because of the upcoming election and the increasing rhetoric around immigration, language politics, and border fences. But well before even the 2010 Arizona ban, educators serving students who are either themselves immigrants, or who come from families of first and second generation immigrants, have been asking themselves how they can acknowledge their students’ stories and empower them to participate in the democratic process. Whatever the decision surrounding the adoption of the controversial textbook, educators agree that developing a curriculum around ethnic studies is frequently difficult, and there is a push to develop textbooks and instructional materials that both engage students and present information and data factually and objectively. As Patrick Michels, who covers school reform for the Texas Observer notes, districts across the state have already been developing their own Mexican-American studies courses, using texts such as F. Arturo Rosales’ Chicano! The History of the Mexican-American Civil Rights Movement. And thanks to a law passed in 2011, school districts may choose their own textbooks and materials, which is why some publishers may be bypassing the State Board of Education’s highly politicized review process.The NEA published a research paper several years ago on the academic and social value of ethnic studies programs in the public schools. What they found were that there are distinct features of the curricula that make a difference. “Simply infusing representation of racially and ethnically diverse people into curriculum only marginally affects students’ attitudes because racial attitudes are acquired actively rather than passively.” On the other hand, curricula that teach directly about racism have a stronger positive impact.A large body of research in higher education that examines the impact of various diversity experiences, particularly course-taking and interracial interaction, reports quite consistently that such courses have a positive impact on “democracy outcomes,” particularly when they include cross-group interaction and particularly on white students, since exposure to a systematic analysis of power and cross-racial interaction is newer to white students than to students of color…In short, there is considerable research evidence that well-designed and well-taught ethnic studies curricula have positive academic and social outcomes for students.The research describes ethnic studies by noting, foremost, what it is not:Although commonly described as “divisive,” un-American, and teaching racial separatism and even overthrow of the U.S. government, …ethnic studies curricula very intentionally include historically marginalized communities and students in a multicultural American curriculum and narrative, often supporting and developing cross-group communication. Second, although commonly perceived as touchy-feely and non-academic—even as lowering academic standards, …ethnic studies curricula are academically based, usually designed to improve students’ academic performance, and sometimes explicitly focus on university preparation.” (emphasis added)In my experience teaching English language learners, the majority of whom are Spanish speakers, I know the work that goes into finding and introducing meaningful content that will both support core instruction and reflect the backgrounds and interests of my students. (And of course it’s further complicated by the fact that there is no one monolithic “Latino culture”—students come from different countries, backgrounds, and educational and income levels, giving an entirely new meaning to “differentiated instruction.”) Fortunately, students themselves are often a wonderful source of information about their respective countries and, if asked about issues and topics of particular relevance to their life in the U.S., are quite happy to get the discussions going. They are also acutely aware of the social, political and economic forces taking place around them and are eager to find and establish their own roles within the broader cultural context. I’ve seen time and again how students sit up and pay rapt attention when watching a video from the PBS series, Latino Americans, say, or interpreting work written by individuals from their respective countries and cultures. Most importantly, well-designed ethnic studies curricula both prepare students to succeed in American culture while embracing their own identities. In other words, it’s not mutually exclusive to instill ethnic pride in students by offering content about their history while at the same time helping them, through lessons in U.S. civics and culture, develop a parallel sense of pride and accomplishment as they move into the American mainstream.—Patricia SchaeferShare43TweetShare4Email47 Shares
US telco AT&T has agreed to settle a patent dispute with DVR technology provider TiVo and will pay about US$215 million (€165 million) to the TV technology specialist between now and 2018. The exact payment will depend on AT&T’s subscriber growth being in line with expectations.AT&T follows pay TV provider EchoStar, which agreed to settle a similar patent dispute with TiVo earlier in the year. EchoStar agreed to pay US$500 million to the technology company. The terms agreed by AT&T, which marketed its DVR service heavily to potential customers, means that the telco will incur a higher cost per subscriber than EchoStar.The latest settlement is expected to bring TiVo closer to profitability. TiVo is also pursuing AT&T’s IPTV rival Verizon for patent infringement.
Polish broadcaster TVN has entered into exclusive talks with Ringier Axel Springer Media (RAS) to sell its internet subsidiary, Onet.pl.TVN has approved the preliminary terms of a partnership with RAS, a joint venture between Germany’s Axel Springer and Swiss group Ringier, which could see the latter take control of Poland’s largest internet portal, with TVN retaining a minority stake. Onet.pl is valued by TVN at about PLN1.4 billion (€335 million).TVN Group CEO Markus Tellenbach said that Onet.pl was well-placed to expand the scope of its activities in the Polish market and that the partnership with RAS would give it a stronger ownership structure.At the end of last year, TVN announced a partnership with Vivendi-backed Canal Plus that will see the pair merge their Polish pay TV operations.
Over 34 million UK viewers will watch sport on TV over the summer, with 30% identifying sport in HD as an important part of the experience, according to a survey by digital-terrestrial operator Freeview.Freeview’s survey, conducted by YouGov, found that only 1% of respondents viewed either 3D or smart TVs as “important”, while 16% cited the BBC iPlayer service and 9% cited DVRs.Approximately 14% of viewers will watch some sport on a laptop, and one in ten will watch on a desktop computer. About 5% will at some point watch sporting content on a tablet, with 7% intending to view on a smartphone.Of those watching live sport on TV this summer, 26% expect to share their sports viewing experiences online, rising to 45% for the 25-34 age group. Some 21% of those online will share and discuss the major sporting events via Facebook. The average British adult plans to tweet four times about the Olympics while watching the games.Britons will watch an average of 100 minutes of sport a day on TV across the summer, according to the survey, about 37% of all viewing time. Olympic TV viewers plan to watch an average of 97 minutes of TV coverage a day, while the average Briton will watch 17% of all broadcast Euro 2012 football matches.
A raft of Muslim and Arabic language channels will be available via British free-to-air digital terrestrial television through a deal with Vision TV Network. The company has struck deals with Al Arabiya, Arabia One and MuslimTV that will mean that 19 new channels will be streamed via internet connected FreeviewHD devices in the UK. Al Arabiya airs talkshows and political programmes, while the Arabia One package provides a raft of content from Dubai TV, Al Jadeed, MBC, LBC Europe, OTV, Murr TV and the female lifestyle channel Al Aan TV.Films will be available via Melody Aflam, while Melody Drama will air general entertainment series and dramas, Moga will air comedy, Melody Sports will air Middle Eastern sporting events and Al Baghdadi will run the latest news and debate from Iraq. Muslim TV, meanwhile, will air readings from the Qur’an.John Mills, CEO of Vision247, said: “With half a million Arabic speakers and close to three million Muslims residing in the UK today, there is a need for dedicated broadcasting to support the cultural heritage and beliefs of this audience. By delivering the best of current Arabic and Muslim programming through Freeview we are able to extend this viewing choice into the comfort of every living room.”
Pay TV operator Sky Deutschland has expanded its sports marketing team. The operator has appointed Jan Reif and Christian Hilger as senior managers, sports marketing, working under head of sports marketing Thomas Medau.Reif will be charged with strengthening cooperation between Sky and the German Football League and the 36 Bundesliga clubs. He was previously director of sales at Sportfive and senior project manager at PACT AG Sky Austria.Hilger will primarily look after sports marketing for non-football activities including golf, motorsport and tennis. He previously worked as a product and marketing manager at HEAD and an independent project manager for sports events.
Dutch telco KPN added 82,000 IPTV customers in the second quarter, giving it a 24% TV market share, up five percentage points year-on-year but flat quarter-on-quarter thanks to the continued decline of its digital-terrestrial base.KPN now has 1.21 million IPTV customers, up 1.128 million in March, and 675,000 Digitenne digital-terrestrial and analogue TV customers, down from 717,000.KPN’s new KPN Compleet quad-play offering had signed up 55,000 customers at the end of June, up from 29,000 in March.KPN reported consumer residential revenues of €480 million for the quarter, up 5%, and EBITDA of €79 million, down 1.3%.
LG Electronics is adding Sky’s UK over-the-top service Now TV to its smart TV platform. LG said it will be “the only smart TV provider to offer access to NOW TV for a minimum of 12 months” and will launch the service on its 2012/2013 range of TVs and 2013 Blu-ray players in August.Now TV gives users access to Sky Movies and Sports content without the need to sign up to a Sky TV contract. Its movies offer costs £15 (€17.37) per-month, following a three month £8.99 offer, while sports access is priced at £9.99 per-day.“We’re constantly working to offer NOW TV on new platforms to meet the ever-increasing appetite for access to great content across a range of internet-connected devices. As a result, we’re delighted to be partnering today with LG to give our customers another way to enjoy great blockbuster movies and the best live sport,” said Now TV director Gidon Katz.
Sony Pictures Television’s AXN Central Europe has begun production of its first Polish local content.The channel is to produce a three-part mini-series based on Swedish crime production Morden I Sandhamm, directed by Greg Zgliński and produced by Opus Films.The series will premiere on AXN Poland in the autumn.“Our goal is to produce something different, telling an international crime story through a unique Polish lens,” said John Rossiter, SPT Networks CE general manager.“The crime genre is extremely popular in Poland and we think the time is right for AXN to start producing high-quality, original local content. Crime is fascinating, and when you look at the underlying motivations and mysteries behind this miniseries it makes for interesting story telling. Things are not always what they seem.”
Belgian telco Belgacom’s Proximus TV has extended its rights to broadcast UEFA Champions League matches for a further three seasons. Proximus TV already holds Champions League rights for two seasons until June 2015. The latest deal will enable subscribers to the 11+ channel or the operator’s All Foot offerings to continue to follow the competition on Proximus TV until 2018.The deal will enable Proximus TV to broadcast all 146 Champions League season matches, along with highlights.Proximus TV shows Belgian football on 11, including the division two Proximus League matches, with division one Jupiler Pro League available for an additional €9.95 a month, while 11+, also available for €11.95 a month, offers coverage of international football. Both channels are available as All Foot for €14.95 a month.“The UEFA Champions League is the number one European football brand. I’m delighted to continue to offer our Proximus TV customers a superior experience through the broadcasting of all matches of UEFA Champions League for three more seasons,” said Phillip Vandervoort, chief consumer market officer, Belgacom.
The film and TV industries are reacting to digital consumer demands, with the “vast majority” of the most popular and critically acclaimed content now available on legal digital platforms, according to KPMG.The accountancy firm’s report, called ‘UK availability of film and TV titles in the digital age’ claims that as at December 2013, 86% of the 756 unique films that KPMG reviewed were available via online VoD distribution on at least one of the 27 legal digital streaming and download services studied.This included 100% of the 2012 UK top 100 box office hits, 98% of the 2011 UK top 100 box office hits and 96% of the UK all-time box office hits.“When we turn our attention to the availability of the most popular and critically acclaimed film titles by business model, we found that the majority were available on the two online transactional models – 86% were available on EST and 67% via online rental,” said KPMG.“A relatively lower proportion of the most popular and critically acclaimed films were offered under the SVOD model (39%) and none was offered under the advertising-supported VOD model.”Out of a separate sample of 814 of the most popular and critically acclaimed film and TV titles, 538 were available on at least one online video distribution service at the end of 2013.This included 75% of the top 100 UK TV programmes in 2011, 73% of the top 100 UK TV programmes in 2012, 73% of the top 100 UK TV programmes in 2013, and 71% of pre-2011 modern TV hits.“The highest proportion of online availability of the most popular and critically acclaimed TV titles by business model was via the EST platform (61%). With the exception of just two TV titles out of 814, our findings suggest that digital copies of TV shows must be purchased rather than rented, as they are not available for online rental, either as individual episodes or as entire season or series,” said KPMG.