(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo The Arizona Cardinals need a new head coach.After firing first-year coach Steve Wilks on Monday, the team begins a coaching search for the second consecutive offseason. Team president Michael Bidwill said Monday that the Cardinals will be somewhat secretive about their actions in what he characterized as a competitive process.As we do our best to piece together reports from around the league combined with contextual clues, we’re keeping track of potential names to watch for as the next coach of the Cardinals. Dan Campbell — Saints assistant head coach/tight ends coach98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station’s John Gambadoro reported Campbell is set to interview with the Cardinals on Saturday.On Sunday, Schefter reported that the two sides completed the interview Saturday night.Campbell, 42, has been with the Saints as an assistant coach since 2016. Prior to his time in New Orleans, Campbell worked for the Dolphins from 2010-15, taking over as interim head coach in 2015 following the team’s firing of Joe Philbin. He compiled a 5-7 record as the interim.Last year, Campbell reportedly interviewed for the offensive coordinator position with the Minnesota Vikings. John DeFilipo ended up getting the job, but was later fired in the season.In addition to the Cardinals, the Browns and Packers have reportedly also interviewed with Campbell.Zac Taylor — Rams quarterbacks coachMultiple reports surfaced on Dec. 31 indicating that the Cardinals were the first team to put in a formal request to interview Los Angeles Rams quarterback coach Zac Taylor. CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora added that Arizona “very likely won’t be the last” team to want to interview the former Nebraska QB. Here are a list of possible candidates to replace Steve Wilks:Has interviewed with CardinalsAdam Gase — Former Dolphins head coachESPN’s Adam Schefter on Tuesday reported former Miami Dolphins coach Adam Gase will interview with the Cardinals on Wednesday.Gase, 40, was fired Monday by the Dolphins after posting a 23-25 record in three seasons.The Dolphins gig was Gase’s first as a head coach.Gase is known as an offensive mind and was the offensive coordinator for the Denver Broncos and Chicago Bears before taking the Dolphins job in 2016.Jim Caldwell — former Lions and Colts head coachCaldwell interviewed with the Cardinals on Thursday, reports ESPN’s Adam Schefter.So far, the former Detroit Lions (2014-17) and Indianapolis (2009-2011) head coach has the most NFL experience among those who have interviewed for Arizona’s job.Caldwell did not hold an NFL job in 2018.A defensive back by trade, the 63-year-old Caldwell has extensive experience as a quarterbacks coach in college and the NFL. He held quarterback assistant coaching duties with Penn State (1986-1992), the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2001), the Colts (2002-08) and the Ravens (2012-13).The New York Jets announced Monday that they had interviewed Caldwell. Kingsbury, 39, has five years of heading coaching experience in college and compiled a 35-40 record with Texas Tech.Known as an offensive-minded, young, up-and-comer, as a college quarterback Kingsbury finished ninth in the Heisman Trophy voting in 2002. He played for three seasons in the NFL.Declined an interview requestMike McCarthy — Former Packers head coachMcCarthy’s name has been a popular one tossed around in the head coaching rumor mill, and Cardinals president Michael Bidwill said on Dec. 31 that the team had reached out informally to those who were currently without jobs.But hat doesn’t mean the Cardinals have contacted McCarthy, and reports from some, including NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, indicate he has his eyes on jobs like the Jets and Browns but does not have interest in the Cardinals. That is apparently due to the desire to remain close to his wife’s high-school-aged children, who plan on finishing high school in Green Bay, added ESPN Packers reporter Rob Demovsky.McCarthy was fired by the Packers after their 20-17 loss to the Cardinals in Week 13. He was the head coach in Green Bay for 13 seasons.Eric Bieniemy — Chiefs offensive coordinator Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Fox Sports and NFL Network’s Peter Schrager reported the day Wilks was fired that the Cardinals were among the teams to put in a request to interview Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy.Two days after the Cardinals let Wilks go, Bieniemy had decided against interviewing with Arizona. He instead scheduled meetings with the Jets, Bucs, Dolphins and Bengals, reported NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.Bieniemy has led a Chiefs offense that ranked first in the NFL this season in points, yards, yards per play and passing touchdowns under head coach Andy Reid. This was Bieniemy’s first season as offensive coordinator after spending five seasons as the team’s running backs coach. 68 Comments Share On Monday, 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station‘s John Gambadoro reported the Cardinals interviewed Taylor.Related LinksNFL head coaching job tracker: Cards hire Kingsbury as next head coachTaylor was expected to meet with Arizona on Saturday, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.Taylor was formerly with the Miami Dolphins from 2012 to 2015. He served as the assistant quarterbacks coach for a year before being promoted to quarterbacks coach. He held that position for a little more than three seasons before taking over interim offensive coordinator duties for the final five games of the 2015 season.Following his time in Miami, Taylor went to the University of Cincinnati as the quarterbacks coach for the Bearcats in 2016.He joined the Rams’ coaching staff in 2017 as an assistant wide receivers coach before being promoted to quarterbacks coach in 2018.Will interview with CardinalsKliff Kingsbury — USC offensive coordinatorThe title is somewhat misleading as Kingsbury was the coach of the Texas Tech Red Raiders in 2018. Kingsbury was not retained by Texas Tech at the end of the 2018 season but was hired on Dec. 5 to be the offensive coordinator of USC.USC had reportedly blocked NFL teams from interviewing Kingsbury, but on Monday, multiple reports indicated that Kingsbury would begin interviewing for NFL jobs. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported Tuesday that the Cardinals were going to interview Kingsbury that same day. Multiple reports stated Kingsbury met with the Jets on Monday. Top Stories
State Rep. Julie Alexander today announced her monthly district meetings for local residents. Constituents can meet one-on-one with Rep. Alexander to discuss their concerns.Upon announcing her March district hours, Rep. Alexander emphasized the importance of accountability and availability to her constituents.“Accessibility is important for good representation,” said Rep. Alexander. “I want to encourage anyone with questions, comments, or ideas about their state government to attend.”Rep. Alexander’s March district hours will be held on the following dates:Monday, March 13 from 9 to 10:30 a.m. at the Jackson County Tower Building, 120 W. Michigan Ave. in Jackson;Friday, March 24 from 3 to 4:30 p.m. at the Jackson County Tower Building, 120 W. Michigan Ave. in Jackson.For those unable to attend, Rep. Alexander’s legislative office can be reached at any time by phone at (517) 373-1795 or by email at JulieAlexander@house.mi.gov. Tags: #SB Categories: Alexander News 07Mar Rep. Julie Alexander schedules March district hours
The Michigan House today approved state Rep. Holly Hughes’ bill allowing Michigan motorists to leave their vehicles warming up in private driveways.“I introduced this bill after a Michigan driver was issued a $128 ticket for leaving his car unattended in a driveway while warming his vehicle,” said Hughes, of Montague. “People across our nation were rightfully outraged when they learned people could be ticketed for warming up their cars. An officer testified in committee that $128 is not a lot of money. I’m sorry, that is someone’s grocery or gas money! This is a matter of personal property rights.”While the current rules may be well-intended, warming up a vehicle or cooling it down in the summer has been common practice in Michigan for probably as long as cars have had heaters and air conditioners.House Bill 4215 moves to the Senate for consideration.### 02May House approves Rep. Hughes bill to allow Michigan drivers to warm up their cars on private property Categories: Hughes News
State Rep. Lana Theis, of Brighton, chair of the House Insurance Committee, issued a statement expressing her disappointment in the House voting down House Bill 5013“I am extremely disappointed that House Bill 5013, which makes much-needed changes to the current auto no-fault insurance system, fell short in the House.“I do not understand why some of my colleagues voted against no-fault reform which 80 percent of drivers across the state said was needed, and would have given drivers hundreds of dollars in premium savings. The very same people they represent – the people living paycheck to paycheck, facing financial hardships due to out-of-control insurance rates – will continue to be hurt by this broken system.“It remains clear just how much special interest groups politicize this very important issue. They profit off the status quo, make a quick buck and pretend like they have the interest of people in mind.“Hard-working families will have to continue to choose between putting food on the table or driving illegally, ensuring Michigan’s uninsured driver rate will continue to climb and ensuring all drivers across Michigan will continue to see their auto insurance premiums rise.“It’s been over 40 years, and still, nothing has been done to change a system that only benefits big players such as hospitals, trial lawyers and other well-funded special interest groups. It’s obvious, once again, nothing has changed in Lansing on this particular issue.“This legislation was never going to take away the unlimited personal injury protection coverage from anyone. It was simply giving drivers a choice – a choice they’ve never been able to make.“I want to thank all my colleagues who voted ‘yes’ on this measure – all of who had the same desire to deliver real, viable rate relief to their residents across the state.“With this legislation falling short, here’s what will happen:“Hospitals will continue to charge more for auto accident patients, trial lawyers will continue to make lavish livings off court cases, courtrooms will continue to be clogged, unlimited health care coverage will continue to be mandated and most importantly, auto insurance rates will only continue to go up.” Categories: Theis News 06Nov Statement from Rep. Theis on auto insurance reform legislation falling short
State Rep. Julie Alexander announced her monthly in-district office hours with local residents, emphasizing the importance of being available to the community.“I am committed to making state government accessible and accountable,” Rep. Alexander said. “I encourage anyone with questions or ideas about their state government to join me for conversation.”Rep. Alexander’s office hours will take place at the Jackson County Tower Building, 120 W. Michigan Ave. in Jackson at the following dates and times:Friday, May 11 from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m.;Monday, May 14 from 3 to 4 p.m.;Friday, May 18 from 12 to 1 p.m.; andFriday, May 25 from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m.Rep. Alexander will also sponsor a special Milk Break meeting at Napoleon Café, 6816 Brooklyn Road in Napoleon on Friday, May 25 from 9 to 10 a.m.No appointments are necessary. Those unable to attend may contact Rep. Alexander at 517-373-1795 or via email at JulieAlexander@house.mi.gov. Categories: Alexander News 27Apr Rep. Alexander announces May office hours
“As your representative in Lansing, remaining open and accessible to you is one of my top priorities,” Glenn said. “I look forward to discussing thoughts, ideas, and concerns with residents of our community, and I welcome anyone to attend.”No appointments are necessary to attend office hours. Those unable to attend may contact Rep. Glenn’s office at (517) 373-1791 or AnnetteGlenn@house.mi.gov. State Rep. Annette Glenn announced her first set of in-district office hours for 2019. The representative will be available at the following times and locations:Friday, Feb. 87:30 to 8:30 a.m. at H&H Bakery and Restaurant, 200 S. Mable St. in Pinconning; and9 to 10 a.m. at Nori’s Restaurant, 963 W. Midland Road in Auburn. Friday, Feb. 157:30 to 8:30 a.m. at Coffee Chaos, 6201 Jefferson Ave. in Midland. Categories: Annette Glenn News,News 05Feb Rep. Glenn sets local office hours
05Jun Legislature files suit challenging AG’s opinion on petition initiative law Rep. Lower: Nessel, Benson can’t pick and choose which laws to enforceState Rep. Jim Lower today announced the Michigan House and Senate have filed two lawsuits against Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson for refusing to follow the 2018 petition initiate law that the attorney general erroneously declared to be unconstitutional.Lower praised the decision by House Speaker Lee Chatfield and Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey to seek judicial clarification and enforcement of current law, saying he wholeheartedly disagrees with Attorney General Dana Nessel’s predetermined interpretation of the law.“Nothing about this law is unconstitutional,” said Lower, of Greenville. “The attorney general and secretary of state are grasping at straws in an attempt to circumvent the requirements of a duly enacted law. They don’t get to pick and choose which laws to enforce based on personal preference. Their role is to follow and enforce the laws that are on the books.”Lower said he sponsored the plan, which later became Public Act 608 of 2018, to improve the integrity of Michigan’s petition initiative process, increase transparency and ensure widespread input from people throughout the state.“In the past, out-of-state special interests have come into Michigan and unfairly influenced our elections process,” Lower said. “Our solution ensures that all Michigan voters – from Marquette to Grand Rapids to Detroit, and everywhere in between – are given a voice in the petition initiative process.”Protections laid out in PA 608 of 2018 include:Requiring that not more than 15 percent of certified signatures come from any one congressional district.Requiring initiative campaigns to provide a short summary at the top of their petitions.Requiring circulators to prominently display their paid or volunteer status.Making absolutely clear that if a petition circulator deceives people or provides fraudulent information, the signatures they collect must be invalidated.“The Michigan Constitution gives the Legislature the authority to enact voting laws and ensure the integrity of the democratic process,” Lower said. “The court should reject the attorney general’s opinion and instruct the secretary of state to do her duty by enforcing the law.”### Categories: Lower News
ShareTweetShareEmail0 SharesFebruary 27, 2014; Akron Beacon JournalIf you were attached to the Akron-based University Park Alliance (UPA) in late 2012, you were most likely riding high. The housing organization’s growing partnership with the University of Akron and a local developer to build housing in the community had secured nearly $8 million in grants and loans from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. The executive director, Eric Johnson, had been with the organization less than two years, but everything seemed rosy at UPA. Flash forward to today, and the picture is in a much more challenging state.Last week, papers related to a suit filed against UPA by Ohio businessman Robert Carter contained statements from Knight Foundation board members, among others, indicating the organization had not revealed important information. As reported by the Akron Beacon Journal, the suit alleges “that UPA in late 2012 was deceptive—specifically former executive director Eric Anthony Johnson—in securing a $6 million grant and $1.9 million loan from Knight by withholding information that the University of Akron had dropped its involvement in a key component of the project, jeopardizing its success.”Knight Foundation president Alberto Ibargüen elaborated further, citing issues with UPA’s governance, stating, “Where are the honest leaders of the UPA board accepting responsibility for telling the full, true story?” Knight program director Jennifer Thomas, a former UPA board member until her resignation in August, honed in on the executive, stating, “No one to rein him in. There are many points along this path where the board could have spotted this.” Ms. Thomas said that UPA did more than just communicate poorly; they were “hiding invoices, making false promises to developers and creating a Ponzi-like scheme.”Following Knight’s decision to pull funding from UPA, Johnson resigned, and is now serving as a real estate executive in Charlotte, North Carolina. Johnson, when reached by the Beacon Journal, stated “They are trying to destroy my career, is what they’re trying to do. I came into a situation where it was wrought with sheer competition amongst those anchor institutions. Everybody wanted a piece of the funds.”UPA’s board includes many of the power players from the Akron community, including Luis Proenza, the president of the University of Akron, and the city’s mayor, Don Plusquellic. Despite Johnson’s departure, UPA is still faced with substantial fallout, and the board is left to pick up the pieces. Look to NPQ for updates on this developing story.—John Brothers Correction: This article has been altered from its initial form. The title and the second paragraph, as originally written, said that the suit against the UPA was filed by the Knight Foundation. This is not the case; the suit was filed by Robert Carter and his amended complaint contains “emails among Knight Foundation officials and members of the UPA board.” NPQ apologizes for the error.ShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares
ShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares Jia Li / Shutterstock.comOctober 8, 2014;The GuardianLast week, the University of Glasgow in Scotland became the first European academic institution to divest from fossil fuels, a feat many American colleges like Harvard and Princeton have been struggling to accomplish.The university court voted last Wednesday to begin divesting £18 million from the fossil fuel industry and to stop new investments as well. The initiative was pioneered by the Glasgow University Climate Action Society, encompassing 1,300 students, and took almost a year to come to fruition.According to David Newall, the secretary of the University of Glasgow court, “The university recognizes the devastating impact that climate change may have on our planet and the need for the world to reduce its dependence on fossil fuels.”Reactions to the news has confirmed for environmental activists like Bill McKibben, founder of the climate change campaign 350.org, that the divestment movement is a global effort and Europe will be “just as powerful in this fight as Australia and North America.”The announcement comes just weeks after the largest climate change march ever was organized in New York City, bringing climate change once again into view for the global community. NPQ has also taken note of the mass exodus of tech companies, including Google, Yelp, Yahoo, and Facebook, from the conservative nonprofit organization American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) because of its stance on climate change—again, pushing the issue to the forefront of national news.University of Glasgow joins several other organizations and businesses that have recently announced their divestment from fossil fuels, such as the Rockefeller Brothers, the Ben and Jerry’s Foundation, and religious institutions worldwide. Glasgow will also join American universities such as Stanford University, Pitzer College, Hampshire College, and 11 other schools across the country whose administrations have joined the movement.The decision may also impact other European universities’ involvement in the fossil fuel industry, like the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) at the University of London. That institution became the first in England to freeze all new investments, taking a step forward toward full divestment. The school will make a decision on divestment next month.—Shafaq HasanShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares
Share87TweetShare36Email123 SharesJuly 2, 2015; Healthcare DIVEIn recent weeks, NPQ has reported on challenges to nonprofit status of hospitals in states around the country, including Maine and North Carolina. In a decision last week, a judge in New Jersey went so far as to say that if all nonprofit hospitals were operated like the one in Morristown, “then for purposes of the property tax exemption, modern nonprofit hospitals are essentially legal fictions.” Judge Vito Bianco made this statement in the course of a trial in which he ruled against the nonprofit Morristown Medical Center, determining that the health facility owes property tax for several years.The hospital had argued that it follows long-standing traditions in hosting both physicians who are employed by the nonprofit organization and those in private practice who are, technically, for-profit. The judge ruled that the lines were so blurred, and there were so many for-profit entities intermingled with the nonprofit mission, that it was impossible to draw a line determining which portions of the facility were used for charitable purposes solely. The final result could mean the hospital has to pay $2.5 to $3 million a year in property taxes.If the decision were to be based simply on the basis of whether or not the hospital was doing good work, there would be no argument according to Judge Bianco. No one is suggesting the hospital is anything but excellent. However, he states, N.J. statute NJSA 54:4-3.6 is quite clear in its definition of which properties will be offered tax exemption and the decision must be made upon that and case law interpreting that statute.The statute includes this wording about which facilities shall enjoy property tax exemption:“All buildings actually used in the work of associations and corporations organized exclusively for hospital purposes, provided that if any portion of a building used for hospital purposes is leased to profit-making organizations or otherwise used for purposes which are not themselves exempt from taxation, that portion shall be subject to taxation and the remaining portion only shall be exempt.”In the case before him, Bianco determined that the hospital had not met the burden of proof that it meets these criteria.Although the decision affects the hospital’s property tax exemption only, and not any other state or federal tax exemption, the implications could be far reaching and so deserve some attention. One question that looms here is why nonprofits are awarded tax exemption in the first place.In his decision, the judge refers to numerous recent challenges to the property tax exemption of nonprofit hospitals. Indeed, he specifically references an article published in Forbes that openly argues for repealing property tax exemption for all nonprofits. The author of that article, David Brunori, is the Deputy Publisher of the online State Tax Today. He argues, “Exempting nonprofits from tax is grounded in the belief that they provide some service to society that, in their absence, would have to be provided by the government. But for most nonprofits, that is not true.” In fact, he says, liberals should want nonprofits to pay taxes because that would give government more money to good things, and conservatives should be appalled at the exemption because it means nonprofits are getting public services such as fire protection for free and at the cost of others.In North Carolina, the controversy is about a portion of the tax code that allows nonprofits such as hospitals to access tax refunds. This is currently being challenged at the legislative level. In a recent article on this case, Richard Clerkin, executive director of the Institute for Nonprofit Research, Education, and Engagement at NC State University, makes the argument that tax exemption for nonprofits should be maintained. Nonprofits are unique because they “cannot distribute their net earnings at the end of the year to people who oversee the organization. Unlike a for-profit hospital’s fundamental mission, which is to increase shareholder value, a nonprofit hospital’s mission is to improve its community’s health.”The IRS published a document on the history of tax exemption that seems to support Clerkin’s argument. The concept of exemption dates back to legislation approved at the federal level in 1894. Although it was later struck down by the Supreme Court, the wording from that legislation has been used in subsequent versions of the tax laws after the federal government’s right to impose taxes was established with the 16th amendment. The creation of the modern federal tax system included wording from legislation in 1909 that tax exemption was granted to “any corporation or association organized and operated exclusively for religious, charitable, or educational purposes, no part of the net income of which inures to the benefit of any private stockholder or individual.” The important addition, according to the article, is the idea of no private inurement, which means nonprofit.It is completely understandable that in this day and age of severe financial challenges and “tax exhaustion,” local governments are looking for revenue wherever they can. In Maine, Governor LePage has been forwarding legislation that would remove property tax exemption from large nonprofits for this very purpose. Indeed, looking at the bottom line of many large nonprofit hospitals and universities could easily give rise to a belief that they are, in fact, operating just like for-profit businesses and should be treated as such. If the CEO received $12.5 million in compensation over the three years involved in the case, is that not private inurement? The arguments begin to sound like those swirling around the NFL before it chose to drop its nonprofit status.NPQ welcomes your thoughts on this: Is tax exemption for nonprofits to be based on doing charitable work for the community, a corporate structure that clearly delineates between profit and nonprofit activity, or that no individual is allowed to benefit from the organization’s profitability?—Rob MeiksinsShare87TweetShare36Email123 Shares
Share4TweetShare1Email5 Shares“No Muslim Ban march on the Capitol in Washington D.C. February 4, 2017” by Masha George. [Public domain]February 9, 2017; Politico and BloombergCourts have a duty “in time of war as well as in time of peace, to preserve unimpaired the constitutional safeguards of civil liberty.” That is why we always need to include litigation in our strategies to achieve social justice.Late yesterday afternoon, a three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously ruled that President Trump’s travel ban should not be immediately reinstated while a court challenge is being heard.The ruling acknowledged competing interests: “On the one hand, the public has a powerful interest in national security and in the ability of an elected president to enact policies. And on the other, the public also has an interest in free flow of travel, in avoiding separation of families, and in freedom from discrimination.”But in the end, “The Government has not shown that the Executive Order provides what due process requires, such as notice and a hearing prior to restricting an individual’s ability to travel.” Ruled the court, “Indeed, the Government does not contend that the Executive Order provides for such process.”It also took the administration to task for its now too-familiar disdainful attitude toward the judiciary as evidenced in the case. “Rather than present evidence to explain the need for the executive order,” reads one section of the ruling, “the government has taken the position that we must not review the decision at all.” Naturally, the court disagrees. “There is no precedent to support this claimed unreviewability, which runs contrary to the fundamental structure of our democracy.”The court found further that the states of Washington and Minnesota, which together instituted the original suit, had a supportable case in that the federal government “has not demonstrated that the States lack viable claims based on the due process rights of persons who will suffer injuries to protected interests due to the Executive Order.”The next step for the government may be to take the issue of the stay to the U.S. Supreme Court. In the meantime, the executive order remains suspended while the underlying case that sparked the request for the immediate stay remains to be litigated in federal district court. Alternatively, the Justice Department could choose to ask the Ninth Circuit to hear the case “en banc,” with ten judges (including the three that issued yesterday’s ruling) reviewing the case for the immediate stay of the federal district court’s order.The three judges on the panel took collective responsibility for the ruling: Carter appointee William Canby Jr., George W. Bush appointee Richard Clifton and Obama appointee Jennifer Freidland. This perhaps prevented the usual personalization of beefs on Twitter as Trump quickly responded, “SEE YOU IN COURT, THE SECURITY OF OUR NATION IS AT STAKE!”SEE YOU IN COURT, THE SECURITY OF OUR NATION IS AT STAKE!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 9, 2017The president repeatedly warned the judges on the panel that they would be blamed if the U.S. suffered a terrorist attack from migrants while the order remained lifted. He not only called the Ninth Circuit arguments on the issue “disgraceful” but suggested political bias was at the base of any judicial resistance to his order.The Ninth Circuit ruling largely avoided the most explosive issue in the case—whether Trump’s order was unconstitutionally tainted by anti-Muslim bias. The decision says it is “well established” that when considering the legality of government actions, courts can consider public comments such as Trump’s public call for a ban on immigration by Muslims. However, the ruling says that the appeals judges decided to reserve judgment on that issue, in part because of “the sensitive interests involved.”White House press secretary Sean Spicer tried to spin the loss by asserting that the court only considered a “narrow” procedural issue (whether to issue an immediate stay of the district court’s decision to suspend enforcement of the executive order) and that the fight was not done.Indeed, 20 other legal challenges to the order are now pending across the country, and the ACLU, which has been involved in a number of these suits, vows to continue fighting the “Muslim ban” every step of the way.“The government’s erratic and chaotic attempts to enforce this unconstitutional ban have taken a tremendous toll on innocent individuals, our country’s values, and our standing in the world,” says Omar Jadwat, director of the ACLU’s Immigrants’ Rights Project.—Ruth McCambridgeShare4TweetShare1Email5 Shares
Share14Tweet1Share2Email17 SharesJune 2, 2017; Dallas Morning NewsThe city of San Antonio, Texas, in conjunction with local and national nonprofits, including the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF), the Workers Defense Project, Texas Association of Chicanos in Higher Education, and La Union de Pueblo Entero, has filed suit seeking to halt the implementation of Texas’s Senate Bill 4 on September 1st. The bill, viewed by some as the harshest state-level immigration bill in the country, would require local law enforcement to assume the role once delegated to U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) professionals. The potential effect for San Antonio residents could be catastrophic.Opinions vary as to what the law is designed to accomplish. In essence, it penalizes municipalities for preventing local law enforcement, including campus security, from assisting ICE in implementing “immigrant detainer requests”—random stop-and-searches to determine immigration status. Localities that fail to comply will face fines ranging from $1,000 up to $25,000. Proponents cite its benefits as a tool to fight illegal immigration. Critics believe it promotes racial profiling, forces local law enforcement to assume ICE responsibilities, and will substantially impact DREAMers with its requirement that campus police also comply.Governor Greg Abbott, in a poorly worded and equally poorly received attempt to downplay outcries of racial profiling, reminded residents that he would not subject his wife—the first Texas First Lady of Mexican descent—or her family to racial profiling. Critics do not seem to believe that the rest of Texas’s residents will enjoy the same courtesy. San Antonio’s vast Latin@ population reflects a historic and longtime relationship between the U.S. and its neighbor to the south. Many residents have family on both sides of the border.The city of Austin will join the suit, along with other municipalities and nonprofits that have sued separately, including the city of El Cenizo, Texas’s El Paso County, and the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC). The litigants expect the suits to be consolidated.This is an outgrowth of a growing citizen trend among individuals, organizations, states and municipalities to attempt to opt out of national policy. With a 65 percent Republican majority in the state senate, a 66 percent majority in the state house, and a Republican governor, immigration advocates have chosen the courts as the quickest and more effective route to prevent implementation of Senate Bill 4. The next steps are to expand, consolidate, and see if this nonprofit civic effort bears fruit.—Mary Frances MitchnerShare14Tweet1Share2Email17 Shares
ShareTweet10ShareEmail10 Shares April 4, 2019; WTOP and WAMUWashington DC will end National Volunteer Appreciation Week on a sour note. Nonprofits operating within the city are at risk of losing hundreds of volunteers after government officials failed to reapply for federal AmeriCorps funding. The situation has left the city and AmeriCorps grantees rushing to find alternative revenue sources.The federal agency Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) manages AmeriCorps programs and provides funding for nonprofits to host volunteers for a term of service. Service appointments range from improving economic opportunity to reducing food insecurity and responding to natural disasters. In DC, the majority of AmeriCorps recipients are education-focused, working to improve educational outcomes in low-income neighborhoods in Wards 7 and 8, east of the Anacostia River. Each state and the District of Columbia has a commission which serves as an intermediary funder. Nonprofits apply for grant funds through the commission, which then requests federal funding on their behalf. While nonprofits submitted their applications on time, Serve DC did not uphold its end of the deal. According to CNCS, the commission failed to meet the January 30th deadline to apply for competitive funding. Moreover, the city missed the deadline to request an extension, resulting in a potential loss of $3.75 million. The oversight makes DC organizations ineligible to compete for AmeriCorps state or national funding—the largest pool of funding available for such programs.The city alleges that it missed the original deadline due to technical difficulties and that fault lies—or at least should be shared—with CNCS and what the city considers a faulty online submission process. In a letter written to Barbara Stewart, CEO of CNCS, Eleanor Holmes Norton, congressional delegate for Washington DC, requested that CNCS take the technical difficulties DC Serve had into account and grant an extension.In the meantime, the city has pledged to fill the gap. LaToya Foster, a spokesperson for Mayor Muriel Bowser’s office, stated, “While we have yet to find common ground with CNCS, the Mayor has committed to identifying avenues to remedy the funding for participating organizations so that there will be no disruption in services to our residents.” The District is possibly considering using some of the $1 million in formula funding it receives from CNCS to use at its discretion, but this hardly covers the expenses of the affected organizations. For instance, City Year Washington, DC hosts 190 volunteers within 22 schools throughout the city. The organization intended to expand its reach by applying for an increase in federal funding from $1.5 million to $2.8 million.Not only would use of formula funding fail to cover the $3.75 million shortfall, but it would unnecessarily create competition between national and DC-based recipients. Typically, formula funding is designated for local AmeriCorps programs. Opening the process to national programs to compete could take away funding from DC-based programs that would have otherwise received it.Under typical circumstances, late applications would be deemed noncompliant and ineligible for funding; however, the national presence and long-standing relationship nonprofits like City Year, Reading Partners, and Literacy Lab have with CNCS might work in their favor. According to Samantha Jo Warfield, a spokesperson for CNCS, the federal agency is considering making accommodations for these organizations.There are multiple reasons why CNCS may lean toward making an exception. For one, many of the grantees were seeking renewal funding, which would not have taken funding away from other programs across the country. Secondly, while the Notice of Funding Opportunity imposed a January 30th deadline, it is not statutory, which gives CNCS flexibility in determining whether to grant Serve DC reprieve. Other political motives are at play as well. Leaving millions on the table due to user error could be interpreted by some as evidence of wasteful spending. The Trump administration has attempted to defund the program entirely for the past two years.Right now, the decision is up in the air. As a member of the National Service Congressional Caucus, the oversight does not look good for Congresswoman Norton and is probably why a second letter was sent to CNCS imploring the agency to reconsider. In her most recent request, Norton appeals to the agency’s moral compass:The children who would not receive mentoring, for example, would needlessly pay the price if the District lost this funding for national service programs, and simply because of technical issues caused by user error. The only people being harmed by this decision are these students and others served by these programs. Every step should be taken to protect these innocent victims, including the 57 tutors from Reading Partners and the Literacy Lab and the 190 City Year members who provide essential mentorship and other services in high-need schools.The city expects to hear back on the agency’s decision within 30 days.—Chelsea DennisDisclosure: The author is an alumnus of City Year, Washington DC and a peer grant reviewer for the Serve Illinois Commission on Volunteerism and Community Service.ShareTweet10ShareEmail10 Shares
Tesco-owned online video-on-demand platform Blinkbox is offering customers who buy a DVD from the supermarket chain access to an online version of the movie.From December 2, customers who buy a DVD or Blu-ray will be able to watch the same movie on their PCs, Macs, iPads and the Xbox 360. Customers must use their Tesco loyalty Clubcard when they buy the film and have their Clubcard matched to their Blinkbox account. Movies available through the deal include Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Part 2), Cars 2, Bad Teacher, Transformers 3 and Screwed.
Swisscom is to provide its digital TV service free of charge to its DSL customers from December as an introductory offer. The move will mean that all new DSL subscribers are given TV as well as telephony and internet in a single package.The offering, Swisscom TV Light, will include over 60 standard definition channels and 22 HD channels.Swisscom TV Start customers will meanwhile have access to bigger range of channels – 110, or about 60 more than previously.Swisscom currently has 728,000 TV customers.
Vodafone is reportedly taking a second look at German cable operator Kabel Deutschland, following reports in February that it had shelved plans to approach the firm with an acquisition offer.According to the Wall Street Journal, Vodafone recently held acquisition talks with Kabel Deutschland and has revived its evaluation of a possible takeover. However, the report, which cites unnamed sources, said that Vodafone is yet to decide when or whether to bid.The news comes after Vodafone Deutschland last month signed a preliminary contract with Deutsche Telekom that will enable it to deliver services including IPTV over Telekom’s fibre network. The deal will see Vodafone share the investment risk of Telekom’s fibre rollout.Earlier this year, Vodafone reportedly put on hold its plan to approach Kabel Deutschland after news of the possible bid was leaked. In April, shares in the firm rose sharply on reports that Liberty Global may instead be preparing a bid for the leading German cable operator.
ONO’s shareholders yesterday approved plans for an initial public offering of the company’s shares. However, the company may proceed slowly with preparations to allow Vodafone time to make an improved bid, according to unnamed sources cited by Bloomberg.According to Bloomberg, ONO will postpone the announcement of its intention to float and investor meetings to next week as it continues to negotiate with Vodafone, which may make an improved offer on Monday. Vodafone is understood to have tabled about €7.2 billion including debt in its latest offer for the Spanish cable operator.According to the Financial Times, citing an unnamed source, yesterday’s shareholders’ meeting did not consider the Vodafone offer, which has been made to some shareholders but does not include binding terms.The FT also reported that Vodafone is still in talks with some of the company’s larger shareholders.Vodafone now has the option of making an improved offer or of waiting until the company is floated and seeking to acquire it afterwards, as it did in the case of Kabel Deutschland.ONO’s principal shareholders include Providence Equity Partners, Thomas H Lee Partners, CCMP Capital Advisors and Quadrangle Capital Partners.
German pay TV operator Sky Deutschland has made its Snap online video service available via Google Chromecast.The latest update to the Snap iOS and Android apps support Chromecast, enabling Snap users to transfer content from iPads, iPhones and selected Samsung Android smartphones and tablets to the main TV screen.Snap, which is available for €3.99 a month, includes a wide range of movie titles such as Sherlock Holmes and Alice in Wonderland as well as box sets of seasons of The Sopranos and Sex and the City and HBO series including Game of Thrones season one and The Walking Dead seasons one and two.The app update also makes a bookmarking feature available for selected Samsung Galaxy smartphones for the first time.
Netgem’s box for EEFrench technology provider Netgem, which yesterday revealed that it was providing the set-tops and platform for the TV service of UK operator EE, has posted a net loss of €619,000 for the first half, compared with a €3.753 million profit last year.Netgem saw its revenues increase by 12% to €37.940 million in the first half. The company reported hardware and services activities separately, combining domestic French and international activities, for the first time. Netgem TV, the group’s services arm, posted revenues of €17.9 million, up 19%, while Netbox, its hardware division, saw revenues rise by 7% to €19.8 million.Netgem said its operational expenses had increased in the course of the year as a result of R&D investment, marketing efforts around its Videofutur consumer service, which had 28,000 subscribers at the end of June, increased provisions against risks and charges and reorganisation costs. Netgem posted a non-recurring charge of €300,000, leading to an operational loss of €300,000.
WWE has launched a YouTube channel called UpUpDownDown, focused around video gaming.The channel will be hosted by WWE wrestler Xavier Woods, who will be joined by YouTube celebrities, other WWE stars and video game editors, who will all appear in daily programming about gaming.“By leveraging WWE’s massive influence on YouTube and tapping into a content vertical that scores highly among our fans, we’re poised to make an immediate impact with this new channel,” said Lisa Fox, WWE executive vice-president, content.“We’re confident that UpUpDownDown will entertain not only WWE fans, but gamers everywhere.”WWE already has a strong YouTube presence, with the main WWE channel totalling 6.43 million subscribers and 3.88 billion video views to date.