Archive for March 8th, 2010

“Hurt Locker” producers sued days before Oscars

Monday, March 8th, 2010

(Reuters) – A U.S. Army sergeant on Tuesday sued the makers of Oscar-nominated film “The Hurt Locker” five days before the Academy Awards, claiming the central character in the film is based on him.

Israeli Army nixes raid after Facebook leak?

Monday, March 8th, 2010

(Reuters) – The Israeli military called off a raid in Palestinian territory after a soldier posted details, including the time and place, on social networking website Facebook, Israel’s Army Radio reported Wednesday.

Canada may adopt gender-neutral national anthem

Monday, March 8th, 2010

(Reuters) – “O Canada,” the country’s national anthem, has included the line, “True patriot love in all thy sons’ command,” for nearly 100 years.

Hamas bans men from women’s hair salons in Gaza

Monday, March 8th, 2010

Link.

Habitat for Humanity Chile volunteers assist in earthquake cleanup and reconstruction

Monday, March 8th, 2010

For Immediate Release

Contact:
Talia Mollett Diana Rodriguez
Habitat for Humanity Habitat for Humanity
Tel: (404) 979-5947 +506 2296-8120, ext. 4019
Fax: (404) 979-5969 +506 2291-7475
tmollett@habitat.org drodriguez@habitat.org
www.habitat.org/newsroom

Habitat for Humanity Chile volunteers assist in earthquake cleanup and reconstruction

As aftershocks continue to rock the length of Chile, Habitat staff and local volunteers work to provide hope and stability to families affected by the 8.0-magnitude earthquake that hit 200 miles southwest of Santiago on Feb. 27

SANTIAGO, CHILE (March 8, 2010) – Habitat for Humanity and partners organized the distribution of emergency tents for affected families in Talca within days of the 8.8-magnitude earthquake that shook the length of Chile on Feb.27. Today, local volunteers will start to clear ground for the first 36 permanent homes to be built-the first phase in a long-term response.

According to Luis Santibañez, national director for Habitat for Humanity Chile, the organization is committed for the duration. “Even as we prepare to clear ground for the first homes, we are working on plans for a long-term response,” said Santibañez. “However, the extent of that response will depend entirely on the generosity of donors and volunteers.”

Early reports indicate that 500,000 homes sustained considerable damage and some 2 million people have been affected by the quake. Strong aftershocks upwards of 6.0-magnitude continue, maintaining a general sense of insecurity among those who are still in their homes, many of which sustained damage in the Feb. 27 quake.

Habitat for Humanity Chile is a long-time partner of Chile’s Ministry of Housing, and will continue to be a partner in upcoming recovery efforts. Through government partnerships, Habitat Chile offers technical support to groups of families, helping them to access government housing subsidies. These local housing committees now provide a close point of contact for Habitat in assessing earthquake-damaged areas.

Shortly after the quake, a Habitat for Humanity assessment team travelled to the regions of Santiago, Talca, Puerto Saavedra, Los Angeles, Temuco, Curepto and Gualleco to evaluate the housing situation of low-income communities in these affected areas. Initial results indicate that 100 percent of the houses built by Habitat for Humanity Chile remain undamaged. However, many families who had been applying for housing subsidies, but who had not yet started construction, were affected by the quake.

Habitat for Humanity Chile has provided more than 6,300 housing solutions to low-income families since 2002. This includes new house construction, major rehabilitations, repairs and other housing improvements. The organization had recently received extensive training in working in disaster recovery.

Due to transportation complications, Habitat for Humanity Chile is currently only recruiting local volunteers. Opportunities for international volunteer teams to Chile will eventually be available through Habitat for Humanity’s Global Village program.

About Habitat for Humanity International
Habitat for Humanity International is an ecumenical Christian ministry that welcomes to its work all people dedicated to the cause of eliminating poverty housing. Since its founding in 1976, Habitat has built, rehabilitated, repaired or improved more than 350,000 houses worldwide, providing simple, decent and affordable shelter for more than 1.75 million people. For more information, or to donate or volunteer, visit www.habitat.org.

About Habitat for Humanity Chile
Habitat for Humanity Chile works with at-risk families and communities to provide housing solutions, facilitate community support and offer diverse services in an efficient and sustainable manner, benefitting the nation as a whole. For more information, visit www.hphchile.cl/.

Spring Break No School Day Camp at Mahaffie

Monday, March 8th, 2010

Spring Break “No School Day Camp” at Mahaffie
The Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop and Farm is offering a day camp on Wednesday, March 17th from 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., at the historic site, 1200 Kansas City Road in Olathe.

The camp is available to kids in kindergarten through sixth grade and features history based games, crafts, living history activities, movie times and stories frown from cowboy culture. Weather permitting, campers will spend time indoors and outside.

The cost is $50 for the first child in the household and $40 for each additional household participant. Registration is open until Thursday, March 11th. For more information or to register call (913) 971-5111 or email mahaffie@olatheks.org.

Olathe — State of the City Scheduled for March 12

Monday, March 8th, 2010

State of the City Scheduled for March 12
Olathe Mayor Michael Copeland will deliver his State of the City Speech on Friday, March 12th at the Olathe Holiday Inn. The luncheon is scheduled to begin at 11:45 a.m. and conclude at 1:00 p.m. Tickets are available through the Olathe Chamber of Commerce, (913) 764-1050.

Sen. Lieberman Proposes Legalizing Bisexual Behavior in the U.S. Military

Monday, March 8th, 2010

(CNSNews.com) — Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) introduced the “Military Readiness Enhancement Act of 2010″ last week, which would allow homosexuals and bisexuals to openly serve in the United States Armed Forces. Lieberman told CNSNews.com that the bill would legalize homosexual and bisexual activity in the military.

Democratic Sen. Ben Nelson: Premature To Make Any Decision On Allowing Homosexuals To Openly Serve in Military

Monday, March 8th, 2010

Link.

Poll: By 2-to-1 Margin, Americans Say U.S. Debt Owed to China Now Greater Threat than Terrorism

Monday, March 8th, 2010

Link.

Glenn Beck –The Chicago way is now the American way

Monday, March 8th, 2010

On Today’s Program
The Chicago way is now the American way

Congressman Eric Massa, a Democrat from New York, finds himself directly under the bus. He was kicked to the curb by Democrats because he didn’t support the healthcare bill or cap and trade. Democrats are using an ethics violation to toss him under the bus. Is this guy a dirtbag? Probably – it’s not exactly uncommon in Washington DC. But do his transgressions make what he’s saying about Washington untrue? Glenn reacts to the Massa controversy today and why this is the conversation America needs to have. ( Transcript, Insider Audio) (more…)

HFAC ACTION ALERT: Anti-REAL ID Legislation (HB-2727) INTRODUCED in Committee

Monday, March 8th, 2010

Good afternoon HFAC Friends,

I am pleased to report today that legislation barring the Kansas Department of Revenue, or any other state agency, from unilaterally implementing provisions of the Federal REAL ID Act (or its possible successor, the PASS Act) has been introduced in the Kansas State House Federal & State Affairs Committee by Rep. Mike Kiegerl. The text of the Act can be found here:

(more…)

Tiahrt for Senate — State Republican Leaders Press Announcement Against Moran

Monday, March 8th, 2010

PRESS RELEASE
March 1, 2010

For Immediate Release
Speaker Pro Tem of the Kansas House Arlen Siegfreid (R-Olathe), House Majority Leader Ray Merrick (R-Stilwell), Assistant Majority Leader Peggy Mast (R- Emporia) and Majority Whip Rob Olson (R-Olathe) released the following statement in reference to a quote from Jerry Moran’s U.S. Senate campaign to The Hill Blog regarding Congressman Todd Tiahrt’s complete exoneration by the House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct.

Siegfreid stated, “Todd Tiahrt is a man of honor and integrity, so it was no surprise to those of us who know him that he’s been fully exonerated by the Standards Committee. What does come as a surprise is the reaction from Jerry Moran, who appears poised to ignore the ruling and continue attacking Rep. Tiahrt on the issue. This isn’t the way to earn the respect of Kansans. I’m supporting a genuine statesman. Perhaps the news of Rep. Tiahrt’s exoneration and his opponent’s reaction tells voters all they need to know when choosing a Senator.”

Merrick said, “The unfounded political attacks against the character and integrity of Todd Tiahrt have no place in Kansas.”

“Apparently, the truth is not important to Jerry Moran. I am disappointed that after all his talk about his Kansas values and his Kansas roots, Jerry Moran brings the dirtiest of Washington politics home with him. Conservatives expect to be attacked by Nancy Pelosi and her liberal elite friends, but when a fellow Kansan seeks to perpetuate the same baseless, partisan slurs and false accusations it is negative campaigning at its worst. Kansans deserve better,” said Olson.

Mast stated, “Kansans believe that honesty and integrity are more than just words. We expect our political leaders to debate the issues with passion and vigor, but to conduct themselves and their campaigns with honor and truthfulness. To attack a man’s character without cause or justification is out of bounds. Jerry Moran and his staff should know better.”

Referenced quote from Jerry Moran’s campaign to The Hill Blog, “The fact there’s not apparently an ongoing inquiry by Congress, we don’t think that takes away from the manner in which Tiahrt has operated in the Congress for many years.” The senior campaign staff continued, “You will hear more from us on that.”

# # #

Steve Forbes: I support Todd Tiahrt for US Senate. Message from Tiahrt Campaign

Monday, March 8th, 2010

I am writing today about the race for your next U.S. Senator. I have looked at the candidates, and the choice is clear. I have chosen to support Todd Tiahrt for the U.S. Senate, and I am asking you to join me.

Todd Tiahrt is a leader on the issues that matter most to conservatives. Whether he is fighting for fiscal restraint, tax reform or a strong national defense, Todd is always out front bringing others with him. The nation’s premiere conservative grassroots organization, the American Conservative Union, recently awarded Todd a 95% lifetime ranking – the highest of anyone in the Kansas Congressional delegation.

I am asking you to join me in doing more than voting for Todd on Election Day – I am asking for your financial contribution to Todd’s campaign. We have seen before the depths that people will go to in order to stop a Conservative leader – and I am asking you to make your $25, $50, $100 or even $500 contribution to Todd’s campaign today.

You have an opportunity to support a true conservative leader, whose vote can be counted on for the important issues facing our country. That conservative leader is Todd Tiahrt. Todd has the vision and leadership skills necessary to be a conservative leader in the US Senate.

Thank you for your time.

Steve Forbes

P.S. Your support means that Todd will have the resources to ensure victory – please make your donation today.

K-State Students Elect New President And Vice President

Monday, March 8th, 2010

News release prepared by: Katie Mayes, 785-532-6415, kmayes@k-state.edu

K-STATE STUDENTS ELECT NEW PRESIDENT AND VICE PRESIDENT

MANHATTAN — In a general election March 2-3, students on Kansas State University’s Manhattan campus elected Danny Unruh, senior in food science and industry and political science, Manhattan, as student body president.

Unruh’s running mate, Annie Oliver, senior in life sciences, Prairie Village, will serve as vice president.

“Annie and I are so very excited to have been elected student body president and vice president,” Unruh said. “We have a profound love for K-State and the people that make it such a great place. We look forward to providing the students at K-State with financial accountability, a cutting-edge classroom experience and a sustainable future.” (more…)

Tiahrt Supports State Hearings on Kansas Jobs, Opposes Onerous EPA Regulations

Monday, March 8th, 2010

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 3, 2010
Contact:
Wendy Knox 202.225.6216
Sam Sackett 316.262.8992
Tiahrt Supports State Hearings on Kansas Jobs, Opposes Onerous EPA Regulations

WASHINGTON-U.S. Congressman Todd Tiahrt (R-Goddard) today along with other members of the Kansas delegation, sent a letter to Carolyn McGinn, Chairwoman of the Kansas Senate Committee on Natural Resources, in support of upcoming committee hearings regarding the recent regulations proposed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the impact these regulations could have on Kansas businesses. Click here to read the letter. (more…)

Huelskamp Introduces Resolution Backing Parental Rights

Monday, March 8th, 2010

Huelskamp Introduces Resolution Backing Parental Rights

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 4, 2010
CONTACT: David Ray: Office: 620-227-9807 Cell: 901-288-4300

DODGE CITY – Senator Tim Huelskamp, Republican candidate for Congress in the First District, announced today that he has introduced a Senate concurrent resolution urging members of Congress to support the Parental Rights Amendment to the United States Constitution, H.J. Resolution 42. (more…)

K-STATE RESEARCHERS SAY NUTRIGENOMICS LIKELY TO CHANGE THE FUTURE OF PUBLIC HEALTH; STUDIES ON NUTRIENTS AND GENE EXPRESSION COULD LEAD TO TAILORED DIETS FOR BETTER DISEASE PREVENTION

Monday, March 8th, 2010

News release prepared by: Kristin Hodges, 785-532-6415, khodges2@k-state.edu

Friday, March 5, 2010

K-STATE RESEARCHERS SAY NUTRIGENOMICS LIKELY TO CHANGE THE FUTURE OF PUBLIC HEALTH; STUDIES ON NUTRIENTS AND GENE EXPRESSION COULD LEAD TO TAILORED DIETS FOR BETTER DISEASE PREVENTION

MANHATTAN — Personal health recommendations and diets tailored to better prevent diseases may be in our future, just by focusing on genetics.

Researchers at Kansas State University recently published an academic journal article discussing the potential for nutrigenomics, a field that studies the effects of food on gene expression. The researchers discussed the possibility of using food to prevent an individual’s genes from expressing disease. The researchers said nutrigenomics could completely change the future of public health and the food and culinary industries. (more…)

K-State — EXTENSIVE, MULTILAYERED APPROVAL PROCESS REQUIRED FOR K-STATE’S BIOSECURITY RESEARCH INSTITUTE TO SAFELY STUDY SELECT AGENT PATHOGENS

Monday, March 8th, 2010

News release prepared by: Erinn Barcomb-Peterson, 785-532-6415, ebarcomb@k-state.edu

Friday, March 5, 2010

EXTENSIVE, MULTILAYERED APPROVAL PROCESS REQUIRED FOR K-STATE’S BIOSECURITY RESEARCH INSTITUTE TO SAFELY STUDY SELECT AGENT PATHOGENS

MANHATTAN — Through stacks of documentation and months of preparation, the Biosecurity Research Institute is undergoing the extensive, multilayered process of gaining approval to study federally regulated select agent pathogens that threaten human and animal health as well as the food supply.

“There’s a misperception that regulators will just come in and give a blanket OK, and that’s not true,” said Scott Rusk, director of Pat Roberts Hall, which houses the laboratory. “The inspectors don’t come in and then leave us with the whole building and all possible research projects approved.”

The Biosecurity Research Institute is a biosafety level-3 facility for research on animal and plant diseases that threaten human and animal health and food safety. The ability to possess and use some of these pathogens in research requires approval from multiple agencies like the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Both groups collaboratively regulate the use and security of select agent pathogens. he listing of pathogens as select agents is subject to change, with new ones being added over time, and it doesn’t necessarily correlate to how dangerous an agent is to people, said Beth Montelone, the institute’s interim director. Rather, a pathogen’s status depends on what threat the government thinks it poses.

The Biosecurity Research Institute is currently seeking approval for six bacterial pathogens and one virus that are considered select agents.

“The regulators’ upcoming site visit is just the first step of what we’ll be doing in terms of getting the building fully ready for all of the projects that have been proposed for the next two years,” Montelone said. “The select agent registration is the brass ring, but there are layers below that.”

Even if the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention gives the OK for work with the seven pathogens, the laboratory and scientists will still have to get permits from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to use them. So from the day the regulators perform the initial inspection, it could be another six months before researchers can actually start the project.

“It’s good that there’s scrutiny, but it does have a price,” Montelone said. “It costs time and effort, and it means that research is slowed down. There’s only part of the process that we can control.”

To become approved to study select agents, the Biosecurity Research Institute is being scrutinized from top to bottom. This includes understanding how the infrastructure at Pat Roberts Hall works, reviewing the laboratory’s safety, security, operations and maintenance, medical surveillance, training and incident response programs, standard operating procedures, and interviewing laboratory workers and laboratory support staff.

“Each application is project-specific, so if we get approval to do these seven pathogens and want to add new research projects with the same pathogens, additional pathogens or more personnel, we have to prepare an amendment and resubmit it for approval,” Rusk said.

Going through a lengthy and extensive authorization process is vital to keeping the laboratory safe. Moreover, when a lab doesn’t adhere to standards, its authorization to work with agents can get yanked for years. It could also face significant monetary fines — recently an institution was fined nearly $1 million — and people could lose their jobs and even face criminal penalties.

Because of the extensive process, some research organizations have decided not to study select agents. But Rusk and Montelone said that the Biosecurity Research Institute was created for exactly this type of research.

“We have long-term relationships and plan to work with collaborators at the National Bio and Agro-defense Facility and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Arthropod-Borne Animal Disease Research Unit,” Rusk said. “If confidence is lost in our ability to do this type of work, those relationships and collaborations may be impacted as well. That’s the reason this all takes a long time. The stakes are high, and you have to get it right. The ultimate goal is to facilitate the high quality of science that goes on in the building.”

While the process to become approved for select agents and materials requiring U.S. Department of Agriculture permits is ongoing, the Biosecurity Research Institute has had several other projects underway. In November 2009, a study of the wheat blast fungus began and a study was completed on two pig diseases, porcine circovirus and porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus.

And since August 2008, the laboratory has housed a project in which researchers are using lower level agents as a first phase of a research project that will eventually include select agents when the Biosecurity Research Institute obtains approval to do that next phase of work.

“Having researchers in the building but not doing highly regulated work is a huge benefit because it helps test our operations so that we are fully prepared when higher risk work begins.” Rusk said.

Hope for America Coalition: Debate Update, State Sovereignty Resolution Gutted in Committee, More…

Monday, March 8th, 2010

As you can see, we have revamped and modernized the format of our regular E-mail updates. We hope that these will be more informative and useful to you, the citizen activists on our mailing list.

We understand that your time is a valuable commodity, and this has driven our initiative to make our E-mails more “user-friendly.” In this vein, we invite you to give your feedback on the changes at info@hfapac.org.

We look forward to a highly successful year in defense of the Constitution in 2010!

Sincerely,

Steve Shute
Executive Director
Hope for America Coalition
Kansas 3rd Congressional District Debate Taking Shape (more…)