For the first time in 25 years, Denver teachers strike

first_imgFeb. 11 — Two weeks ago, Denver teachers, through their union, the Denver Classroom Teachers Association (DCTA), voted 93 percent in favor of striking against the city’s public school administration, Denver Public Schools. This first strike vote by teachers in 25 years showed they have reached a breaking point. The teachers’ demands include an across-the-board increase in salary and starting pay instead of intermittent bonuses. This would affect classroom teachers, school nurses and psychologists. They are also asking for increased pay for professional development points when they complete special courses. They questioned the need for costly and bloated DPS administrative staff, which carries the highest ratio of administrators to teachers of any city in Colorado.The teachers emphasize they are at a breaking point financially and emotionally. Most work 60 hours a week, and many have had to take second jobs just to survive. Many cannot afford to live in expensive Denver where they teach and have had to leave the district to obtain higher salaries in surrounding areas.  The bonus system is unpredictable. The DPS administration uses bonuses to recruit teachers on a one-time basis for underfunded schools with at-risk students rather than increasing support and funding for these schools. This practice does not help retain teachers, who end up leaving because of lack of libraries and other necessary resources. Students support teachers’ strikeStudents from Denver East High School have supported the striking teachers by sending letters to state agencies, sitting in on bargaining sessions and actually producing a video challenging administrative excess. The students asked why there are 38 “executive managers” in DPS, each making over $136,000 a year while teachers earn a fraction of that, and noted many teachers have not had a raise in 10 years. The Denver Post reported Feb. 8 that the superintendent of schools, Susana Cordova, sent letters to parents saying the schools would remain open except for the early childhood development program, which would affect 4,700 students. Cordova announced plans to use 1,200 regular substitute teachers, plus another 300 newly hired substitute teachers at double pay. She also plans to use 1,400 employees who work in the DPS central administrative office. This will cost over $400,000 a day for substitute teachers and curriculum. Cordova threatened administrative employees with firing if any should refuse to cross the picket line. When negotiations between the union and the administration broke down Feb. 9 after many hours, the teachers announced they would walk out Feb. 11. DCTA President Henry Roman said, “We will strike for our students and for our profession.”The strike will affect 5,300 teachers and 71,000 students in the Denver Public School system.On the morning of Feb. 11, before 7 a.m., 2,100 teachers had called in sick,  according to local Channel 7 news. Picket lines were forming around most schools in Denver. Lead negotiator for the DCTA Rob Gould stated in an early morning interview, “The [Denver Public Schools] need our minds, our labor and our talent. The base salary for a Denver teacher is $7,000 to $15,000 less than in surrounding districts. Teachers cannot afford to live where they teach and 20 percent leave every year.” More than one teacher on the picket line said the strike was for survival.   Students heading into class were asked if students overall supported the teachers; they responded, “I sure hope so!”A local Fox News video from about 10 a.m. showed students inside Denver East High School cheering and dancing in the hallways to celebrate their teachers picketing outside. The video then showed the students walking out in support of their teachers.   FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thislast_img read more

Montenegro : RSF and other leading press freedom organisations condemn the continued judicial persecution of Jovo Martinović

first_img MontenegroEurope – Central Asia Judicial harassment October 8, 2020 Find out more News Forum on Information and Democracy 250 recommendations on how to stop “infodemics” 30 March 2021Leading press freedom and journalists’ organisations, including Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) partners, strongly condemn the decision by the Court of Appeals to reject Jovo Martinović’s appeal and uphold the first instance verdict of the High Court in Podgorica which convicted Martinović to 12 months of prison. While he will not be imprisoned due to time already spent behind bars, Jovo Martinović will have a criminal record, solely due to his journalism. The undersigned organisations condemn the verdict and regret that the Court of Appeals has not seized the opportunity to acquit the internationally awarded journalist and send a message of support to investigative journalism in Montenegro.Martinović was convicted for violating the Criminal Code of Montenegro relating to the creation of a criminal organisation, as well as illicit production, possession and distribution of narcotics. While he did set up a meeting with defendants over the filming of smuggled weapons in France, he did so for journalistic purposes. We believe that throughout the detention and subsequent trial, his rights to a fair trial have been violated. Prior to his arrest on 22 October 2015, Martinović had already been held in custody for almost 15 months before being finally freed, provisionally.A retrial formally began on 2 December 2019 and on 8 October 2020, the High Court of Montenegro sentenced Martinović to one year in prison for participating in drug trafficking. He was acquitted on charges for membership in a criminal organization. Yesterday, while Martinović’s appeal was rejected, an appeal brought by the state calling for these charges to be reinstated was also rejected. This offers little solace either to Jovo Martinović or other investigative journalists who can read the ongoing judicial persecution as an attempt to dissuade and chill reporting of corruption and organised crime in Montenegro. Investigative journalism is not a crime and should not be treated as such by the Montenegrin authorities. In 2019, the Court of Appeals returned the case against Jovo for a retrial precisely due to lack of evidence against the journalist. The undersigned organisations highlight the continued absence of evidence that would justify a conviction. This further highlights a fundamental flaw in yesterday’s verdict. While Jovo Martinović will not be imprisoned, this politically motivated judicial persecution is an attack on investigative journalism and a damning indictment of media freedom in Montenegro. There remain few precedents for this level of judicial persecution aimed at an investigative journalist in the Balkans and Europe more broadly and highlights a significant failure for the rule of law, which remains important as Montenegro is seeking ascension to the European Union. In a 2020 report, the European Commission, highlighted that while there are legal guarantees in place to protect judicial independence, the system is still “vulnerable to political interference”. To ensure this situation does not continue and to build trust in the judicial system, these guarantees need to be strengthened as a priority.The undersigned organisations condemn the Court of Appeals’ verdict and stand in solidarity with Jovo Martinović and all investigative journalists in Montenegro. We call on Montenegrin authorities and courts to work in line with their commitment to media freedom and European standards, as part of their commitment to the ascension process for the European Union, to ensure Martinović is not further criminalised or persecuted for his journalism. Signed:ARTICLE 19Centre for Investigative Journalism of Montenegro (CIN-CG)European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF) European Federation of Journalists (EFJ)Free Press UnlimitedInternational Federation of Journalists (IFJ)International Freedom of Expression Exchange (IFEX)International Press Institute (IPI)OBC TranseuropaReporters Without Borders (RSF)South East  Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO)Trade Union of Media of Montenegro  RSF_en Montenegro convicts Jovo Martinović again, jeopardizing EU accession to go further Receive email alerts Help by sharing this information Follow the news on Montenegro November 11, 2020 Find out morecenter_img June 7, 2021 Find out more Montenegrin investigative journalist Jovo Martinović. Photo credit: AFP/Fos Media Following the confirmation of the verdict which condemns the Montenegrin journalist Jovo Martinović to 12 months in prison despite a lack of evidence, twelve press freedom and journalists’ organisations call for strengthening of the independence of the judicial system, if Montenegro wants to enter the European Union. News News Respect judicial independence in cases of two leading journalists in Serbia and Montenegro, RSF says MontenegroEurope – Central Asia Judicial harassment News Organisation March 30, 2021 Montenegro : RSF and other leading press freedom organisations condemn the continued judicial persecution of Jovo Martinovićlast_img read more

Utility district approves expansion purchases

first_img WhatsApp Local News By Digital AIM Web Support – February 24, 2021 Twitter WhatsApp Pinterest TAGS  Twittercenter_img County resident Barbara Jones addresses Ector County Utility District President Tommy Ervin with concerns for the master water plan. The Ector County Utility District has taken next steps to expand operations to accommodate a growing customer base in West Odessa.Board members approved authorizing multiple purchases during a regularly scheduled meeting for required infrastructure improvements to ensure their system can meet guidelines outlined by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.ECUD has maintained an extended contract with the City of Odessa for more than 30 years to receive water and services for the district, but the utility district has steadily been working toward becoming a self-sufficient operation for the last three years under the leadership of ECUD President Tommy Ervin. He said the continued growth in West Odessa is pushing the utility district to expand in order to keep up.Bill Fowler, ECUD’s attorney, said the district was looking to secure land before going out for bids on upcoming projects in hopes of obtaining a lower rate from companies by already having a site selected for an estimate.Board members approved authorizing the purchase of a one-acre tract of land on Knox Avenue for an above ground storage tank at a cost of $25,000 and a second one-acre tract of land for another above ground storage tank on Tripp Avenue for $20,000. The purchase of a 5.37 acre tract of land north of 42nd Street was also approved for a water pump station and one ground storage tank totaling about $40,000.“We have to do these upgrades in order to keep this system functioning,” ECUD board member Terry Swan said.The multiple tracts of land are one of the first stages that will help bring the district’s master water plan to life.The master water plan has been approved by TCEQ to adequately serve Odessa’s current population and projected rate of growth for the next 25 years. The estimated cost to revamp ECUD’s system is $47 million.Ervin said the system would be funded by a loan from the Texas Water Development Board and ECUD would pay down the loan over 30 years with help from recent water rate hikes for customers.West Odessa senior citizens reported water rates have more than doubled for residents receiving ECUD services starting in February. Customers under the age of 60 now pay about $75 and senior citizens pay $50 for 2,000 gallons of water.“The problem with our system is we have areas that have low volume and low pressures and they have to be fixed,” Ervin said. “We have to come up with an infrastructure, which is the pump station and the elevated tanks, to overcome the volume and the pressure problems.”He said water pressure levels for some areas of West Odessa are close to being in violation of state law.The utility district is now recognized as a public water system and has 5,300 customers, serving about 22,000 people in West Odessa. City Public Works Director Tom Kerr said the system has reached a size that indicates a need for more separation from the City, but that process would require bolstering ECUD’s number of personnel, equipment and infrastructure before they are ready to handle operations.Ervin said ECUD is ready to make the jump and start investing in infrastructure projects to secure water for those living in west Odessa for years to come.ECUD board members announced that a town hall will be held May 16 to clarify any confusion about the district’s master water plan and the increased water rates after numerous residents have continually told the board that the updated price is too much for retirees to afford.IN OTHER BUSINESS, THE BOARD>> Authorized the letting of bids to construct Operations & Maintenance building at 1039 N. Moss Ave.>> Approved a motion to table discussion about modifications to the personnel policy manual.>> Approved the financial report for May 8, 2019.>> Approved the minutes from the April 10, 2019 board meeting Facebook Utility district approves expansion purchases Facebook Pinterest Previous articleHEALTH BRIEFS: May 27, 2019Next articleOAT052619 Vatican City 3.JPG Digital AIM Web Supportlast_img read more

Convie allegations to be examined by an inspector – Shiels

first_imgHomepage BannerNews Twitter Facebook Facebook Google+ Google+ Pinterest Main Evening News, Sport and Obituaries Tuesday May 25th It’s reported that an inspector has been appointed by Environment Minister Alan Kelly to carry out a planning enquiry in Donegal.Cllr Dessie Shiels says his understanding is that the enquiry will centre on investigating a portfolio of 20 particular files about which former planner Gerard Convie has made allegations of  irregularities to the Department of the Environment, and to a number of successive Ministers.In a statement, Cllr Shiels says he has seen have seen the written details of the allegations, describing than as “serious”.He says they suggest that favourable treatment was given to individuals in obtaining planning permission. Some of the complaints made, he says, could, if upheld, lead to further investigations.There have been calls for a full independent planning enquiry in Donegal for years and Cllr Shiels says this could just be the beginning of a process which leads to that. It was previously decided by the Department not to make any further enquiry into those matters but following a challenge by Mr Convie and the recepit of legal advice by the Department from the Attorney General, Cllr Shiels says the Minister has now decided to appoint an inspector.He concludes there will never be accountability for planning irregularities in Donegal unless an outside independent enquiry takes place. What Mr Convie has started, he says, may lead to a planning ‘can of worms’ being opened in Donegal……..Audio Playerhttp://www.highlandradio.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/desiplan.mp300:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume. Twitter WhatsApp Gardai continue to investigate Kilmacrennan firecenter_img RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR By News Highland – February 25, 2015 Previous articleSenoir Saolta official rules out a second breast surgeon for LGHNext articleLynch to miss Derry Tyrone tie News Highland WhatsApp 365 additional cases of Covid-19 in Republic Pinterest Further drop in people receiving PUP in Donegal Man arrested on suspicion of drugs and criminal property offences in Derry 75 positive cases of Covid confirmed in North Convie allegations to be examined by an inspector – Shielslast_img read more

Charity boxes stolen during weekend break in in Strabane

first_img Twitter Arranmore progress and potential flagged as population grows News, Sport and Obituaries on Monday May 24th RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Pinterest Google+ Homepage BannerNews Pinterest Previous articleKim Cattrall announces missing brother’s deathNext articleCouncil urged to support Gathering at Scalp project News Highland Important message for people attending LUH’s INR clinic Harps come back to win in Waterford Google+center_img Journey home will be easier – Paul Hegarty WhatsApp WhatsApp Facebook Facebook By News Highland – February 5, 2018 DL Debate – 24/05/21 Police in Strabane are investigating the theft of a number of charity boxes from a business premises in the town during a weekend break in.Shortly after 4am yesterday morning, two men entered Dolan’s Restaurant and Takeaway on the Lifford Road, causing damage to the doors of the property before making off with two charity boxes.The proprietors have released CCTV footage in a bid to identify the intruders.Anyone who may have seen two men in the area at the time or came upon discarded charity boxes is asked to contact the PSNI.Local Councillor Patsy Kelly, has described the actions of those behind the incident as despicable:Audio Playerhttp://www.highlandradio.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/kelly1pm.mp300:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume. Twitter Charity boxes stolen during weekend break in in Strabanelast_img read more

Maintenance issue delays USS Ronald Reagan’s patrol

first_img View post tag: USS Ronald Reagan Authorities Back to overview,Home naval-today Maintenance issue delays patrol of US Navy’s Japan-based aircraft carrier View post tag: US Navy May 15, 2017center_img Maintenance issue delays patrol of US Navy’s Japan-based aircraft carrier U.S. Navy’s Japan-based aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan will have to spend additional time in port after an unspecified maintenance issue was found prior to the carrier’s departure for a regional patrol.The issue was discovered during routine pre-underway checks, the navy said without specifying when the carrier could be expected to get underway for its scheduled patrol.The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier completed a five-month selective restricted availability (SRA) maintenance period and started sea trials on May 7.Once the Ronald Reagan carrier strike group starts the Asia-Pacific region patrol, the ship and its air wing will boost the U.S. military presence in the region in the wake of mounting tensions between the U.S. and North Korea, caused by the Pyongyang regime’s repeated missile tests.North Korea has stepped up missile tests recently and has made several launches since U.S. president Donald Trump took office in January. The latest missile test took place on Sunday with a new type of rocket capable of carrying a nuclear warhead.The U.S. Navy already has one aircraft carrier operating in waters of the Korean Peninsula. The San Diego-based USS Carl Vinson was ordered to change course in April and sail north instead of visiting Australia for exercises, following North Korean tests. Share this articlelast_img read more

Oxford City Council’s new Anti-Racism Charter faces criticism

first_imgIn their statement, the coalition argues that the Charter “is not sufficiently representative”. The statement describes the consultation process as less legitimate due to the “exclusion of the lived experiences” of some groups and individuals.  The council responded that “tackling racism and intersectional discrimination is a hugely complex challenge. We don’t expect to get this done in one go”.  According to the council, the Anti-racism Charter was written through consultation with different groups and people of colour that have lived experience of racism in the form of seven focus groups. Within the Charter, the Council commits to three core actions: first, an annual review of the Charter, including the definitions and a reaffirmation of the Council’s commitment to be an Anti-Racist city. Secondly, the council promises to showcase the talent and achievements of ethnic minorities and people of colour across the city through various events. Finally, the Council will launch an Oxford specific Anti-Racist City Quality Mark that signatories can use. However, the Oxford Coalition of Black Communities and Communities of Colour (OCCCC) published a statement on the same day as the Charter’s launch, criticising the creation process and the Charter itself.  Oxford City Council’s newly launched Anti-racism Charter is facing criticism from the Coalition of Black Communities and Communities of Colour.  However, this is disputed by the OCCCC, who say that “dissenting voices within the Anti-Racist City executive have registered their unwillingness to be used as a rubber stamp endorsement for what they perceive as pre-determined objectives and outcomes.” The Coalition told Cherwell “it is blatantly obvious that a number of the Black Afrikan heritage community were not consulted” and noted that “Black African heritage are statistically at highest risk of experiencing discrimination based on skin colour”. Moreover, the she stated that “the breadth of signatories to the charter shows that organisations from across the city are willing and committed” to tackling racism, institutional or otherwise.center_img In sight of this, the OCCCC requested “a serious ongoing dialogue … in regard to implementing concrete race equality actions it has itself committed to undertake in the here and now”, and question why the Council hasn’t adopted a “concrete plan”, similar to those seen in the McGregor Smith Review (2017) and demonstrated by the Nottingham City Council. The Councillor Marie Tidball, Cabinet Member for Supporting Local Communities, responded to the OCCCC’s comments in a statement to Cherwell: “We invited a wide range of participants to our focus groups, including representatives from Oxford Coalition of Black Communities and Communities of Colour. Not all chose to take up the invitation.”  It likewise notes earlier in the statement that “the beginning of a process to understand the multi-layers of racism and discrimination so that we can deliver the change that we all want to see in the city – including overcoming institutional racism”. Read the full OCCCC statement here. Read the Oxford City Council’s press release for the Charter here.  The OCCCC is made up of eighteen groups connected with the issue, such as BLM Oxford and African Calling, among many others. The Coalition also has multiple student partners, including: Kofo Collective University of Oxford, Oxford University Africa Society, and Oxford University Feminist Society.  The Charter, which was released on 30th October, said it demonstrates “Oxford’s commitment to being both anti-racist and lays the foundation to advancing equality of opportunity for all ethnic minorities and people of colour in our city”.  Image credit: SJPrice / Pixabaylast_img read more

Federal Judge Hears Arguments on Indiana Abortion Law

first_imgFederal Judge Hears Arguments on Indiana Abortion LawJUNE 8TH, 2018 TYRONE MORRIS EVANSVILLE, INDIANAA federal judge in Evansville is weighing whether to block a new Indiana law. It requires medical providers to give the state details about women they treat for abortion complications.Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky is seeking a preliminary injunction to block two provisions of the law before it takes effect July 1st.One of those provisions says abortion clinics are subject to annual inspections. The organization says the law is unconstitutional but the state says the law shouldn’t be blocked from taking effect.The judge heard arguments from both sides Friday but did not make a decisionFacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailSharelast_img read more

8th Annual 911 Gives Hope Toy drive kicks off Friday morning

first_imgThe 8th annual 911 Gives Hope For the Holidays Toy Drive kicks off Friday morning at 6:00am at the Burkhardt Rd WalMart on Evansville’s east side. Police, Fire, and EMS workers will be on hand 24 hours a day through Sunday at 6:00pm to collect new, unwrapped toys. Monetary donations will also be accepted.The donated toys will be delivered to area hospitals later this month. Thanks to the success of the previous toy drives, hospitals have been able to provide toys to hospitalized children all year long. We are looking forward to another amazing toy drive this year!FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailSharelast_img read more

HAVE GUN (CLASS) – WILL TRAVEL by JIM REDWINE

first_img Gavel Gamut By Jim Redwine(Week 24 October 2016)HAVE GUN (CLASS) – WILL TRAVELIf your life is so bereft of excitement you have actually read this column the past week or so, you may recall I have been helping teach an Internet class for the National Judicial College. Judges from across our great land tune in, sign on and discuss subjects from the currently hot areas of Children in Need of Services to Court Management. This week’s topic was Court Security and the lead faculty member was my good friend from Mississippi, Judge D. Neil Harris.During the class judges participated via computer and telephone as we delved into many facets of how our courts should be protecting those who use and those who operate them. Gentle Reader, you may not be surprised to hear that it is not just the Judge of the Posey Circuit Court whose decisions are occasionally at odds with the thoughts of those whose lives are affected by them. It turns out that practically every person everywhere thinks she or he could have arrived at a better legal conclusion than the ones delivered by judges. Sometimes these court participants or their supporters get upset.While there were many opinions and suggestions by the judicial faculty and the judges who were students as to how best to ensure those who must use our courts and those who are privileged to operate them can do so in a calm, reasonable and safe environment, the area of most varied positions concerned the role of firearms.On a personal note, for the first thirty-five years of my tenure on the Bench, Posey County courts simply relied on the good will of all involved or more accurately, good luck. But in 2016 our sheriff, Greg Oeth, sought necessary additional deputies. The County Council and County Commissioners acceded to his well-documented requests as required by the rulings of the Indiana Supreme Court and provided officers who are available in court. Thank you on behalf of the public who must use the courts and the court staff who work there.However, extra court security personnel was not the most examined topic in the Internet course. As I mentioned above, it was how or when or if judges and their court staffs should help provide their own security by carrying guns.This column is not a column about the Second Amendment. The theory of firearm ownership, possession and use is for the legislative and executive branches. The judicial branch’s role is to decide cases that are brought to court. What we in the Internet course were trying to determine was not whether guns should be available to judges and their staffs but whether any guns that are legally available should be carried by judges and their staffs.Gentle Reader, if you have made it this far I have good news for you. What I plan to do is relate two anecdotes then quit. I hope they illustrate what was the consensus of the judges in the course.First, let’s delve into the meaning of an instructional video I did in 2014 for a course I taught for the Municipal Court Judges of Missouri. Court Security was part of my lectures.To make the video I commandeered friends such as Chuck Minnette, Marty Crispino, Greg Oeth, Tom Latham, Jason Simmons and Rodney Fetcher. Jason wore his camouflage fatigues and brought his AR15 with him to the courthouse. He ran into the courthouse at about 10:00 a.m. on a workday, brandished his AR15 and yelled, “Where’s the Judge?” The only reaction from those in the courthouse that day was to point towards the courtroom. One lady walked right by Jason and instead of being alarmed or sounding an alarm simply asked, “Where’s the Clerk’s Office?” In 2014 Posey County’s court security was a little lax.The second example comes from yesterday as Peg and I were talking to an Osage County, Oklahoma Sheriff’s Deputy who is also a certified instructor on gun safety and court security. His business card is a play on the television series Have Gun – Will Travel that starred Richard Boone as Paladin, a gunman for hire. Paladin’s card read, “Have Gun – Will Travel”. Paul Didlake, the Osage County Deputy, has the following card: “Have Gun Class – Will Travel”.Paul told Peg and me about a recent Oklahoma case where a woman who had a gun license and carried a pistol in her purse was raped and murdered. She had left her purse in her car.Paul told us his mantra for personal security is: “The best kind of gun to have is the one you actually carry.”– 30 –FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailSharelast_img read more