– / 3At Ripley House Community Center, on the East End, there are middle school students selling lemonade, there’s a man selling ice cream from his mobile cart, and there’s a lot of enthusiasm from voters.It reflects that Latino voters’ surge seen in Harris County, other parts of Texas, and battleground states.Houston Public Media’s Coverage of Election 2016Several voters here are voting for the first time: Hispanic voters who believe strongly that they need to cast their ballot and speak their voice at the ballot box.One is María Ruiz . She recently became a citizen and she voted for Hillary Clinton. Even though she didn’t agree with everything Clinton supports, she says she has the most experience and she doesn’t believe the Republican candidate, Donald Trump, has any morals or respect for other people.Clinton “has her good and bad points”, Ruiz said. But Trump “doesn’t have any morals, doesn’t have any respect.”Another family, the Martínez family, were here voting as a family. Natividad and Lourdes Martínez are originally from Honduras and became US citizens several years ago and they were voting with their daughter Mercy, who is 18 years old and it’s her first time voting. And they echoed the sentiment that the country is in this place of darkness and that they need to speak their voice and show a stance against Trump. They were specially motivated to vote against his policy on deporting immigrants who are in the country illegally. They said that everyone deserves to be treated fairly.“We are supposed to be equal. You can’t deport people,” said Natividad Martinez. “It’s not fair to treat people differently.” Share
Share The Houston school board formed the ad hoc group after a statewide crisis in special education saw thousands of children with disabilities denied services. Enrollment in special ed has edged up in Houston schools. However, at 7 percent, it’s still below state and national averages, at 9 percent and 13 percent, respectively.“I think the work for HISD and special education has just begun and I think to dissolve this committee is completely premature,” DeRocha said.The group’s chair, Trustee Anne Sung, said she believes the ad hoc group won’t be needed if the board follows its new recommendations to improve special ed. The board will review those recommendations and decide the group’s future at its meeting later this week. The recommendations include regular board workshops on the issue and a formal response from district administrators to an outside audit that gave Houston schools a low grade on special ed. “With these recommendations, I think we’re going to get to a place where we continue to have oversight for continual improvement and the communication that parents are really asking for around special education,” Sung said.Sung added that the special ed committee was formed as an ad hoc group and wasn’t meant to be a long-term committee. To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: 00:00 /01:00 Listen X Laura IsenseeWanda Adams, then HISD board president, and Trustee Anne Sung listened to parents share their frustration and questions about special education in the district at a 2017 meeting. Sung has chaired a new committee on the issue.The Houston school board could disband its special education committee this week, a move that’s taken some parents and even some committee members by surprise.For years, Kara DeRocha has advocated for her son’s special needs. In May, she joined the district’s special ed committee to help amplify parents’ voices and guide trustees. She said that they didn’t get a warning the group could dissolve so soon.“It was a visceral reaction of, ‘Here we go again, our voices are once again being silenced,’” said DeRocha, who ran for a seat on the school board in 2017. “We’re going to have to fight again to have our voices be heard.”
Categories: News,Whiteford News 27Apr Rep. Whiteford: Budget is a fiscally sound blueprint State Rep. Mary Whiteford today voted for passage of the state budget, joining her colleagues on the House Appropriations Committee in approving the spending plan and sending it to the full House for consideration.Whiteford, of Casco Township, who serves as chair of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Environmental Quality, said the Appropriations Committee focused on sensible spending to help save taxpayer money.“Residents of Allegan County sent me to Lansing to ensure that their tax dollars are being spent wisely while prioritizing important programs,” Whiteford said. “We have developed a fiscally sound state budget that proposes spending 2.2 percent less in the general state budget than the current budget.”Highlights of the bill include:Helping make life better in communities across Michigan by adding money for road repairs, public safety departments, parks and other programs to improve our daily lives. Revenue sharing payments to local governments will rise by $12.4 million under the plan, more money than in the past five years.Michigan’s K-12 public schools would get record funding at $14.3 billion, with a priority on keeping more money in the classroom to benefit students. School districts across the state would get $100 more per student at each grade level, equating to a $143 million increase.Funding for career and technical training would increase through competitive grants for equipment upgrades and for intermediate school districts to hire counselors. The programs are designed to help prepare Michigan students for jobs of the future.Training 100 state police troopers, making our communities safer for residents and job creators.Building a better economic future by paying down school retiree debt and adding to the state’s main savings account for tough times, pushing the emergency fund above $1 billion.Continuing to tighten our belt by eliminating waste and inefficiency in state government while adding transparency.#####
A proposal from state Rep. Aaron Miller allowing local recreational authority boards to spend more of their budgets on improving Michigan communities was recently approved by the House Local Government and Municipal Finance Committee.House Bill 4408 changes audit requirements from annual to once every two years for authority boards that do not levy taxes.“Some of these authorities spend nearly half their annual budget on audits to comply with the current requirement,” said Miller, of Sturgis. “That’s far too burdensome and it costs communities in the long run because that is money that could go to construction and improvements for local swimming pools, recreation centers, parks, trails, historic markers and other things. This plan offers some flexibility and allows more funds to be available to serve our local communities.”On May 15, Miller was joined in testimony before the House Local Government and Municipal Finance Committee by Lindsay Oswald, who serves as St. Joseph County clerk and volunteer director for the River Country Recreational Authority, based in Three Rivers. Oswald commented that past budgets for the authority have been eaten up by audits – including a year where the organization had just one transaction – but that it was necessary to conduct them under the law as a government entity.“This update cuts red tape requirements,” Miller said. “There are still safeguards in place that would require annual audits if there is evidence of fiscal irregularity or a misuse of funds. But overall, this bill is going to make sure we get the most out of every dollar in these budgets.”HB 4408 moves to the House Ways and Means Committee for further consideration. 28May Rep. Miller plan cuts red tape, frees up funds for community improvement projects Categories: Miller News,News
France Telecom-owned Polish telco TPSA had 615,000 TV customers at the end of the last quarter, up 23.8% year-on-year. Growth came from TPSA’s DTH service, which had 506,000 customers at the end of the quarter, up from 383,000 a year earlier. However the operator’s IPTV base fell year-on-year from 114,000 to 109,000.Customers with TPSA pay TV packages numbered 143,000, up year-on-year but down from 154,000 quarter-on-quarter. In addition TPSA had signed up 7,000 ‘n’ pay TV customers following the implementation of its partnership with ‘n’’s owner TVN Group.Retail broadband customers grew by 2.8% to 2.332 million. However combined revenue from broadband and TV for the quarter was PLN365 million (€83 million), down from PLN387 million for the same period last year.
Kenyan pay TV operators GOtv Kenya and StarTimes Kenya have said they will take legal action after local broadcasters aired adverts advising viewers not to purchase the two firms’ digital set-tops, according to local reports. The broadcasters, Nation Media Group (NMG), Royal Media Services (RMS) and Standard Group (SG), which together recently formed the Africa Digital Network (ADN) to supply digital set-tops to the Kenyan market, aired the adverts on channels NTV, KTN, QTV and Citizen, asking vieers to wait for their own deciders to made available to the market.GOtv and StarTimes have taken issue with claims that they breach copyright by making the channels available on their own services, arguing that they are obliged to do so by must-carry rules that have been upheld by the country’s Supreme Court.The pair said that the advert is defamatory and intended to mislead, and that their boxes offered Kenyans the option of receiving channels for free or signing up for pay TV services.