Rescue Program – Owl And Monkey Haven http://owlandmonkeyhaven.co.uk/ Mon, 20 Jun 2022 01:25:37 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://owlandmonkeyhaven.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/icon-1.png Rescue Program – Owl And Monkey Haven http://owlandmonkeyhaven.co.uk/ 32 32 IMF delegation visits crisis-hit Sri Lanka, time is running out https://owlandmonkeyhaven.co.uk/imf-delegation-visits-crisis-hit-sri-lanka-time-is-running-out/ Mon, 20 Jun 2022 01:10:00 +0000 https://owlandmonkeyhaven.co.uk/imf-delegation-visits-crisis-hit-sri-lanka-time-is-running-out/ COLOMBO/LONDON, June 20 (Reuters) – A team from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) arrives in Sri Lanka on Monday for talks on a rescue package, but time is running out for a country days from running out of fuel and likely to months of getting any relief money. Sri Lanka is grappling with its worst […]]]>

COLOMBO/LONDON, June 20 (Reuters) – A team from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) arrives in Sri Lanka on Monday for talks on a rescue package, but time is running out for a country days from running out of fuel and likely to months of getting any relief money.

Sri Lanka is grappling with its worst financial crisis since independence in 1948, as decades of economic mismanagement and recent policy mistakes have combined with a COVID-19 hit to tourism and remittances, reducing foreign exchange reserves at record highs. Read more

The island nation of 22 million people suspended payment of a $12 billion debt in April. The United Nations has warned that soaring inflation, a falling currency and chronic shortages of fuel, food and medicine could escalate into a humanitarian crisis. Read more

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The IMF team, visiting Colombo until June 30, will continue recent talks on what would be Sri Lanka’s 17th bailout package, the IMF said on Sunday.

“We reaffirm our commitment to support Sri Lanka at this difficult time, in line with IMF policies,” the global lender said in a statement.

Colombo hopes the IMF visit, which overlaps with debt restructuring talks, will lead to a quick agreement at staff level and a fast track for IMF board disbursements. But that usually takes months, while Sri Lanka risks more shortages and political unrest.

“Even if a staff-level agreement is reached, final approval of the program will depend on assurances that official creditors, including China, are willing to provide adequate debt relief,” said Patrick Curran, economist. Principal of US investment research firm Tellimer.

“All things considered, restructuring is likely to be a protracted process.”

But the crisis is already overwhelming for average Sri Lankans, like rickshaw driver Mohammed Rahuman, 64, who recently stood in line for more than 16 hours for petrol.

“They say petrol will come but nothing yet,” he told Reuters. “Things are very difficult. I can’t make money, I can’t go home and I can’t sleep.”

Winding lines of several kilometers have formed outside most gas pumps since last week. Schools in urban areas closed and public officials were told to work from home for two weeks. Read more

Bondholders expect the IMF visit to provide clarity on how much debt Sri Lanka can pay off and what haircuts investors may have to accept.

“This IMF visit is very important – the country will need all the help and support it can get,” said Lutz Roehmeyer, portfolio manager at Berlin-based bondholder Capitulum Asset Management. “For many international bondholders, this will be a key requirement to ensure they come to the table and talk about debt restructuring first.”

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said this month that an IMF program was crucial to access bridge financing from sources such as the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank.

Representatives of Sri Lanka’s financial and legal advisers, Lazard and Clifford Chance, are in Colombo. Read more

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Reporting by Uditha Jayasinghe and Karin Strohecker in Colombo; Editing by William Mallard

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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Bailout funds show Colorado what an adequate budget looks like https://owlandmonkeyhaven.co.uk/bailout-funds-show-colorado-what-an-adequate-budget-looks-like/ Sat, 18 Jun 2022 07:30:00 +0000 https://owlandmonkeyhaven.co.uk/bailout-funds-show-colorado-what-an-adequate-budget-looks-like/ A massive, one-time influx of federal dollars has given Colorans a taste of what a well-funded state government looks like. The U.S. federal bailout law, passed in the spring of 2021, has brought billions of dollars to Colorado, allowing policymakers over the past two years to simultaneously fund long-recognized priorities like housing, the economy care, […]]]>

A massive, one-time influx of federal dollars has given Colorans a taste of what a well-funded state government looks like.

The U.S. federal bailout law, passed in the spring of 2021, has brought billions of dollars to Colorado, allowing policymakers over the past two years to simultaneously fund long-recognized priorities like housing, the economy care, behavioral health programs, education and the environment. protection.

Andrea Kuwik

But one-time funding is just that: once. Bailout funds are an impermanent stream of funding that must be spent over the next few years. While these dollars have proven invaluable in providing an infusion of needed support, their temporary nature prevents them from solving Colorado’s long-term structural deficit or adequately funding a number of statewide priorities. in the future.

If we want real and permanent change, we must prioritize sustainable funding flows and a fairer tax code.

How much did Colorado get from the bailout?

Over $9 billion. Nearly $6 billion has been specifically earmarked by federal lawmakers for pre-established purposes such as education, services for the elderly, public health, child care and behavioral health. However, more than a third of the funds, or about $3.83 billion, have been left to the discretion of state policymakers and have relatively few restrictions. The money simply needs to be allocated by 2024, spent by 2026, and fall into one of many broad funding categories.

READ: Colorado Sun Opinion Columnists.

It should be noted how important these funds are to the Colorado budget. In fiscal year 2019-20, the state general fund totaled $12 billion. The total federal funds for the Rescue Act equal more than three-quarters of the general fund for that year; the least restricted part of that is almost a third of that discretionary budget.

Over the past two years, state lawmakers have shelled out much of the aforementioned $3.83 billion. Here’s a breakdown of how that money was allocated:

Workforce development: $200 million

Recognizing the role of COVID-19 in accelerating change within our workforce, the General Assembly has allocated significant funds to help workers develop new skills for employment, career paths and a stronger talent pool.

COVID-19 response: $300 million

Those dollars were earmarked for the governor’s office and spent on public health services related to COVID-19 such as vaccinations and testing.

Transport and infrastructure: $380 million

Lawmakers have invested about $380 million in state transportation systems. Importantly, Colorado should also receive at least $3.5 billion in infrastructure funding from the federal Infrastructure Investment Act.

Affordable housing and home ownership: $550 million

The rising cost of housing has prompted policymakers to invest substantial sums in efforts to increase housing affordability, such as a revolving loan fund, new grant programs and eviction advocacy services. .

Mental and behavioral health: $550 million

COVID-19 has revealed deep gaps in our mental and behavioral health systems, which lawmakers have sought to fill by funding various initiatives such as new youth behavioral health supports, workforce development efforts artwork and additional residential beds.

Economic recovery and relief: $850 million

With the approximately $850 million set aside for economic recovery and relief, policymakers have funded a variety of priorities, including homeless services, child care, environmental protection and improving access to food.

Recovery of revenue lost due to COVID-19: $1 billion

Finally, Colorado lawmakers set aside $1 billion to make up for lost state revenue as a result of COVID-19. Although not all of this money was earmarked, a considerable sum, $600 million, was spent to pay off some of the Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund debt.

All of this is an impermanent solution to a long-term problem.

Over the past two years, Colorado has made significant investments in many important areas. However, it wasn’t state money that made these investments possible — it was one-time federal dollars that will eventually run their course over the next few years. Once the federal dollars run out, we’ll be back in the same pre-Bailout Fund position, where life-saving issues – like child care, environmental protection, K-12, health care, disaster preparedness, etc. – are regularly opposed to each other. for tiny, and always inadequate, scraps of public funding.

While federal money won’t solve our long-term funding problems, it has shown us what a better-resourced Colorado looks like. It showed us that with enough funds, it is possible to invest in multiple priorities simultaneously and proactively tackle growing issues that need attention. Above all, we have the ability to create this type of Colorado.

To do this, we need to adopt a smarter and fairer tax code where everyone pays their fair share. By properly funding our state’s infrastructure, we will create the healthier, more resilient state that we all deserve.


Andrea Kuwik, of Lakewood, is a senior analyst for Bell Policy Center.


The Colorado Sun is a nonpartisan news organization, and the opinions of columnists and editorial writers do not reflect the opinions of the editorial staff. Read our Ethics Policy to learn more about The Sun’s opinion policy and submit reviews, suggested authors and more to opinion@coloradosun.com.

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Nearly half of US bailout funds used; senators, Adelup takes the lead in spending | New https://owlandmonkeyhaven.co.uk/nearly-half-of-us-bailout-funds-used-senators-adelup-takes-the-lead-in-spending-new/ Tue, 14 Jun 2022 06:38:00 +0000 https://owlandmonkeyhaven.co.uk/nearly-half-of-us-bailout-funds-used-senators-adelup-takes-the-lead-in-spending-new/ Governor Ricardo J. Bordallo’s resort in Adelup on May 1, 2021. About $257.7 million in US bailout money was spent or encumbered as of the end of May. PDN FILE PICTURE With nearly half of the $587 million in U.S. bailout funds under the governor’s discretion already spent last month, lawmakers are asking Adelup for […]]]>






Governor Ricardo J. Bordallo’s resort in Adelup on May 1, 2021. About $257.7 million in US bailout money was spent or encumbered as of the end of May.




With nearly half of the $587 million in U.S. bailout funds under the governor’s discretion already spent last month, lawmakers are asking Adelup for more transparency and help for struggling families.

Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero’s authority over the funds has been a sore point for some members of the Legislative Assembly, which typically has more control over Guam government spending.

A report on funds provided to the Legislative Assembly by the Office of Budget and Management Research shows that $257.7 million in ARP money had been spent or encumbered by the end of May. Most of the money, which is available until September 2025, was received last May. About $23 million was used in the last month alone, according to the report.

Dissatisfied

Senator Telo Taitague, who demanded the report through an amendment to the annual money bill last year, said she was unhappy with the level of scrutiny it provides.

An overall funding breakdown is included in the report, but Taitague said, “The administration has provided virtually nothing with respect to information detailing the use of these critical federal investments.”

Information about the $250 million the infrastructure and jobs law could bring to Guam was also scarce, Taitague said.

The senator introduced Bill 282 in March, which would require the BBMR and the Ministry of Administration to itemize the expenditure of funds “by purpose and project description.” Although the measure enjoys the bipartisan support of President Therese Terlaje, senses. Joanne Brown, Frank Blas Jr., Tony Ada and Sabina Perez, she has yet to receive a public hearing date from the committee overseeing general government operations and appropriations.

Taitague said she will seek to introduce the oversight provision as an amendment to this year’s budget bill, if necessary.

BBMR Director Lester Carlson said on Tuesday the money was finally subject to a federal audit and any information on how the agencies planned to use the funds was readily available.

Work families

Taitague also took issue with parts of the ARP report that she says don’t help working families, especially as utility, fuel and food costs have risen. The senator cited an expense of $1.8 million for a study of salaries for government positions and $458,000 for the Department of Chamoru Affairs and the Guam Council for the Arts and Humanities.

Blas wrote to the governor’s office on June 3 and again on Monday, asking Adelup to immediately implement additional stimulus payments for families through ARP funds or part of the $87 million in surplus revenue the government is expected to collect this year.

“Governor, once again, there are families who are one step away from financial disaster,” Blas wrote Monday.

He noted that Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands Governor Ralph Torres recently provided a second round of stimulus payments – $500 per taxpayer.

Leon Guerrero responded on Tuesday, pointing to various programs already implemented by Adelup, including the $800 All-RISE program, which paid out some $36 million to residents below a certain income threshold. Some 12,487 eligible families received $300 in gas assistance more recently under the second Prugrảman Salảppè and another $80 million will be distributed to help childcare providers, she said.

“Although you note in your letter that the ARP funds have not been fully expended, I assure you that they have been fully expended,” she said.

Leon Guerrero said the excess revenue the government is expected to collect this year is under the control of the Legislative Assembly and said Blas could run an aid program using the funds.

“I invite you to explore the mechanisms under your control to help our people, as I have done,” the governor said.

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Washington County Criminal Justice Committee Issues Initial Report https://owlandmonkeyhaven.co.uk/washington-county-criminal-justice-committee-issues-initial-report/ Sun, 12 Jun 2022 08:01:24 +0000 https://owlandmonkeyhaven.co.uk/washington-county-criminal-justice-committee-issues-initial-report/ FAYETTEVILLE — The need for a mental health court to divert people from prison and programs to help others get out of prison and stay out were among issues raised in a report on criminal justice reform of Washington County. County officials received a preliminary outline Monday of the work being done by the Criminal […]]]>

FAYETTEVILLE — The need for a mental health court to divert people from prison and programs to help others get out of prison and stay out were among issues raised in a report on criminal justice reform of Washington County.

County officials received a preliminary outline Monday of the work being done by the Criminal Justice Coordinating Committee.

The panel is charged with examining ways the county could improve the criminal justice system and reduce overcrowding at the jail. The committee is made up of representatives from county government, law enforcement, judges, prosecutors, public defenders and community members.

Prosecutor Matt Durrett, co-chair of the committee, said the report was written in response to questions from some justices of the peace. He said a more detailed report, with recommendations from the panel, is the likely next step.

“This report is something the Jail Committee was looking for,” Durrett said. “Something to give them the parameters, an idea of ​​the issues we’re facing and what we’ve been looking at. They had asked for this to give them an idea of ​​where we might be looking to put the funding and the resources. “

DATA TO CONSIDER

The report begins with several points of information used as a starting point to define the issues under consideration.

According to the report, the prison has about 150 “medical patients” per week. About 75% of those arrested report having mental health issues. With a population of 704 detainees on April 28, this would mean up to 528 people declaring themselves affected by mental health problems.

The average time from arrest to trial is six months, according to the report. Bail is usually set within 24 hours of a person’s arrest, and an inmate sees a judge within 48 to 72 hours of arrest. It takes 30 to 45 days to assign a lawyer to a case.

The prison reported a population of 704 people on April 28. From January 1 to April 22, 602 inmates were released on their own recognizance and 730 were released by sheriff’s order.

On April 28, there were 95 people incarcerated with a failure to appear charge only and 493 without a failure to appear charge.

At the county’s first fail-to-appear clinic on Jan. 6, 20 people were able to reach plea deals and six returned to court records.

Durrett said the issues highlighted in the report could be addressed through a series of programs, some of which are listed in the report. The committee considered running more non-appearance clinics and hiring a diversion case manager to get those inmates who qualify for specialized courts like drug court and court into these programs faster. veterans. The establishment of a mental health court is also on the list of programs under consideration.

The panel also discussed the need for a program building or dedicated space for diversion programs and behavioral health programs at the prison. Pre-trial services – including notifying inmates of court dates, transportation and referrals to services available in the community – were also mentioned.

The report contained general information on the possible costs of certain programs, including an annual salary of $55,000 for a diversion case manager, 0,000 annual salary for two probation officers for a mental health court and 250,000 $ for a program building on the prison campus.

Durrett said the county must continue to explore these and other alternatives to incarceration, even if voters approve a proposed prison expansion.

Sheriff Tim Helder asked the Court of Quorum to propose a plan to expand the jail as well as a tax increase to pay for the project in the November general election ballot. The cost of the expansion was estimated at $96 million.

“From my perspective, we have to move forward with these whether or not voters approve of the prison expansion,” Durrett said. “Even if voters approve of the expansion, I think we still need to do things like a mental health court and pre-trial services. Right now the prison is overcrowded, making it a pressing issue. But I think we need both.”

RESISTANCE TO PRISON EXPANSION

A local advocacy group, the Arkansas Justice Reform Coalition, has called for a five-year moratorium on all new jail construction in Benton and Washington counties to give incarceration time alternatives to be implemented and to show their effectiveness. Group member Sarah Moore said she wants local officials to do more than talk about alternatives.

“We’ve been talking about some of these things for years,” Moore said. “None of these things are unique or new. They have been shown to work in study after study and in cities, counties and other jurisdictions across the country. There is a sobering center for successful since the 1970s in Oklahoma. While it’s good that we’re having a discussion, it’s time to act. We need to invest money in these proven solutions.

Moore said the coalition is planning a June 23-24 trip to Douglas County, Kansas, inviting local officials to observe programs operating there and being discussed in northwest Arkansas. .

” They succeed ; why don’t we want that for washington county? Moore said.

Justice of the Peace Willie Leming said he thought the county had waited too long to expand the jail and was unconvinced the suggested alternatives would compensate for the need for more jail space.

“I don’t see where there’s more and more bed space,” Leming said of the suggested alternatives. “They can talk all they want, but I believe that’s the only answer we have. I’m not saying don’t try to help people, but that’s not the solution. We need a bigger prison and more mental health services. I think we have to do both, but we have to get the prison going.”

Justice of the Peace Evelyn Rios Stafford said the Court of Quorum should not ‘automatically approve’ the prison expansion proposal until there is more information on the cost and scope of the project and on alternatives that might alleviate some or all of the need for more prison space.

“Where will the permanent funding for a bigger prison come from?” asked Stafford. “Are we minimizing construction, operating and maintenance costs? To my knowledge, no one in Benton or Washington counties has talked about a regional jail. That’s the kind of thing that should be included in this discussion. A lot of these alternative programs are things that can be thrown. We have millions of dollars in US bailout money that can be used for one-time expenses, and I think we should use some for those kinds of things that we’re allowed to use it in. If we want to put something on the ballot, some of those things also need funding.

Jay Cantrell, Washington County Sheriff‘s Office chief deputy and sheriff-elect, said the county should continue programs like mental health court and add more pretrial services, but the addition of prison spaces is inevitable.

“Most of the things they talk about require space, and there’s just no space to do anything,” Cantrell said. “It would be nice to have the space for more mental health services, to have the space to separate people who need to be kept apart from the general population, for education and for services before the trial, but with 110 to 115 people sleeping on the floor every night and with an average of around 730 people in the jail, we just don’t have room.”

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Howland points his lens at the police | News, Sports, Jobs https://owlandmonkeyhaven.co.uk/howland-points-his-lens-at-the-police-news-sports-jobs/ Fri, 10 Jun 2022 05:40:19 +0000 https://owlandmonkeyhaven.co.uk/howland-points-his-lens-at-the-police-news-sports-jobs/ HOWLAND — Trustees took the next step by placing a new ongoing $1.5 million police tax on the Nov. 8 ballot and also approved the use of $18,400 of the township’s U.S. bailout funding to purchase eight body cameras worn by Wolfcom police. Earlier this year, the department purchased eight more body cameras […]]]>

HOWLAND — Trustees took the next step by placing a new ongoing $1.5 million police tax on the Nov. 8 ballot and also approved the use of $18,400 of the township’s U.S. bailout funding to purchase eight body cameras worn by Wolfcom police.

Earlier this year, the department purchased eight more body cameras with a state grant, administrator Rick Clark said.

Howland got a $9,450 cut from more than $4.7 million in grants distributed to 109 local law enforcement agencies in January to start or maintain body-worn camera programs. At that time, Howland was among the departments launching new body camera programs.

The purchase brings the police department up to 16 body cameras. The department’s online listing currently lists 19 staff members, including the chief and deputy chief.

Trustees Clark, Matthew Vansuch and James LaPolla at their Wednesday meeting also had a first reading for the new $1.5 million police tax, which will likely get final approval at the trustees’ next meeting in July.

The levy, if passed, will generate $686,200 and cost the taxpayer $52.50 for every 0,000 of tax assessment, Police Chief Nick Roberts said.

The last approved police levy in the township was 10 years ago, in 2012. Roberts said the new levy funds will help the department hire another officer, bolster staff and reduce overtime costs. Funds raised would also be used for equipment and training, he said.

In other business Wednesday, the administrators:

• Hired Thomas J. Keiran as a part-time zoning assistant at $18 per hour as needed, with no benefits;

• Reassigning part-time postal employees DeLilah DeNicholas and Payton Loomis to senior clerks and increasing their hourly rate to $11.33 per hour effective June 16;

• Hold a public hearing to consider Howland’s alternative tax budget at the regular township trustee meeting on July 13;

• Approved the sale of a 2010 Ford E350 Braun Ambulance on the auction website govdeals.com. The vehicle is no longer operational due to catastrophic engine failure;

• Accepted a $10,000 grant from the State Fire Marshal for the fire department;

• Approval of a new tender advertisement for the Township’s 2022 road resurfacing contract paving program and 2021 storm sewer upgrades;

• Declared harmful the following properties: 3448 Beechwood Ave., 3254 Crestview Ave. SE, 8141 Castle Rock Drive NE, 8848 King Graves Road, 6060 Mines Road, 2878 Niles Vienna Road, 8618 Old Orchard, 3478 and 3479 Overlook Ave., 3273, 3589 and 3709 Valacamp Ave., 2699 Fairview Ave., 309 North Road SE., 1041 Westover Drive SE, 1764 Niles Cortland Road SE, 1318 Rosewood Drive NE, 7687 Micawber Road, 8629 and 8600 Huntley Drive SE, 7648 Dawson Drive, 3167 Draper Ave., 568 North Road SE, 316 Henn Hyde, 2018 Roberts Lane, 9309 Howland Springs Road, 2661 Ridge Ave. and 1474 Raccoon Drive;

• Recognized June 19, June 19 as an additional paid federal holiday for all full-time Howland employees. The offices will be closed on June 20 for the public holiday;

• Reminds residents that the Howland Summer Farmers’ Market has begun. The outdoor market takes place from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturdays in Richard E. Orwig Park;

• Announced that 2.5 tons of paper were recycled and approximately six Food Police Cruisers were donated to the Bolindale Food Pantry during the Township’s recent food shredding and collection event.



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The City begins preparations for a comprehensive plan | News, Sports, Jobs https://owlandmonkeyhaven.co.uk/the-city-begins-preparations-for-a-comprehensive-plan-news-sports-jobs/ Wed, 08 Jun 2022 04:12:42 +0000 https://owlandmonkeyhaven.co.uk/the-city-begins-preparations-for-a-comprehensive-plan-news-sports-jobs/ Altoona is preparing to create a new, comprehensive municipal plan in accordance with the Pennsylvania Municipal Planning Code. The code requires municipalities to review their plans at least every 10 years. The city last created a comprehensive plan in 2013. Altoona officials will meet with Blair County Planning Director Dave McFarland – a […]]]>

Altoona is preparing to create a new, comprehensive municipal plan in accordance with the Pennsylvania Municipal Planning Code.

The code requires municipalities to review their plans at least every 10 years.

The city last created a comprehensive plan in 2013.

Altoona officials will meet with Blair County Planning Director Dave McFarland – a former city planning director – this week to review a list of potential consultants who can develop a plan, according to the director of community development at Altoona. the city, Diana White, who spoke at an Altoona planning commission. meeting on Tuesday.

“We are going to come back here to pull ourselves together and motivate ourselves,” said White.

Creating a compensation plan is a long and elaborate process, White said.

There will be many meetings and solicitations for public participation.

The commission wants city council members to be intimately involved, she said.

And he wants big players in the region to know about the effort, she said.

It’s not only a good time to come up with a new plan based on the state’s calendar, it’s also an opportune time for a new plan based on many things that have happened in the city recently, are happening now or will happen soon, according to White.

“A convergence of factors” said White.

These include development projects downtown, near the former Bon Secours Hospital and around the eastern foot of the Seventh and Eighth Street Bridges; the city’s recent exit from Bill 47, its $39 million allocation from the US bailout, the ARP funding the city council recently provided for the land bank to begin operations; and an engineering bureau plan to get grants in a more coordinated way, White said.

“The city does a lot of interesting things” she says.

At the suggestion of Commissioner Dick Haines, retired Blair County planning director, the planning commission will seek formal permission from city council to develop the plan.

This is the correct procedure, and it is always best to follow procedure, because if controversy were to arise, a procedural weakness becomes vulnerable to attack, according to Haines.

Council will be willing to provide that permission, predicted Mayor Matt Pacifico, who attended the commission meeting.

Authorization means “get the green light” of the governing body, said Rebecca Brown, director of codes and inspections.

“(The Council) needs to say, ‘Go ahead and do it'” said White.

It makes sense because the council will pay for it, White said.

The work must result in “something that reflects what we have had to do for 10 years”, said White.

The Mirror’s staff writer, William Kibler, is at 814-949-7038.



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Can Fort Worth Summer School Help Reverse COVID Learning Loss? https://owlandmonkeyhaven.co.uk/can-fort-worth-summer-school-help-reverse-covid-learning-loss/ Mon, 06 Jun 2022 17:02:48 +0000 https://owlandmonkeyhaven.co.uk/can-fort-worth-summer-school-help-reverse-covid-learning-loss/ Tequila Lockridge, a leveled literacy interventionist at UCC Polytechnic Center, leads a small group of students through a leveled literacy intervention session during the Summer Learning Program July 13, 2021 in Fort Worth. Amanda McCoy amccoy@star-telegram.com For a second year, Fort Worth school officials are pinning high hopes on the district’s summer learning program as […]]]>

Tequila Lockridge, a leveled literacy interventionist at UCC Polytechnic Center, leads a small group of students through a leveled literacy intervention session during the Summer Learning Program July 13, 2021 in Fort Worth.

Tequila Lockridge, a leveled literacy interventionist at UCC Polytechnic Center, leads a small group of students through a leveled literacy intervention session during the Summer Learning Program July 13, 2021 in Fort Worth.

amccoy@star-telegram.com

For a second year, Fort Worth school officials are pinning high hopes on the district’s summer learning program as a way to reach students who have fallen behind during the pandemic.

The district’s summer apprenticeship program began on Monday. Like last year’s summer school, district officials say this year’s program will combine academic support for students who need it with enrichment activities that will keep students engaged and excited about school. idea of ​​coming to school.

The director of a national organization promoting summer learning says the combination of academic and fun activities is the foundation of any effective summer learning program.

“We want it to be so engaging that you can make it voluntary, and people still want to come,” said Aaron Dworkin, CEO of the National Summer Learning Association, a Washington, DC-based nonprofit.

Texas students have lost ground in reading and math

Students in the school district of Fort Worth and across Texas have lost significant ground in math and reading during the COVID-19 pandemic. In Fort Worth, only about one in four third-graders achieved grade-level results in reading on state tests last year. Only 17% of third graders achieved grade level results in mathematics. At the time, local and state education officials blamed the effects of school closings and remote learning. State testing data supported this explanation: Declines were largest in districts where a high percentage of students were attending school remotely.

The results of this year’s STAAR tests have not yet been released. But at a February meeting of the Fort Worth District Board of Directors, Sara Arispe, the district’s associate superintendent for accountability and data quality, predicted no growth in reading and only modest improvement in math. .

During a board briefing in April, Jerry Moore, the district’s chief of schools, said the district hopes to use summer school as part of its strategy to reverse this downward trend. Summer presents a key opportunity for school districts and their community partners to fast-track students who have fallen behind due to educational disruption caused by the pandemic, and also provide fun enrichment activities, Moore said. .

When district leaders began planning for this year’s summer learning program, they reached out to the U.S. Department of Education, the Texas Education Agency, and the Wallace Foundation, a group of New York-based education advocacy, to learn more about successful summer apprenticeship programs across the country. , Moore said. The district wanted to move beyond the summer school program it offered in the past, which focused primarily on credit recovery, he said.

The Fort Worth Summer Learning Plan includes 25 programs

The district’s summer learning initiative will not be a single program, Moore said, but rather 25 separate programs tailored to the needs of particular groups of students. In addition to its regular summer program, the district will offer programs for bilingual students and English language learners, as well as students in special education programs, Moore said. Nationally, all of these groups have been particularly hard hit by the academic effects of the pandemic.

District officials will know the program was successful if they see the results in the test scores of students who participated, Moore said.

The program will be funded by a combination of $1.6 million in state funding and $3.6 million in federal COVID-19 relief money the district received as part of the U.S. bailout. , which was signed into law in March 2021. School districts are required to use at least 20% of the federal funding they receive from the plan to help students recover from pandemic-related learning loss. In advice to school districts, US Department of Education officials specifically mentioned summer learning programs as a possible use of this funding.

Last year, the district added a strong enrichment focus to its summer school programming, Moore said. This change was successful last year, he said, so district officials decided to continue it during this year’s summer program. District leaders wanted the program to go beyond the classroom and learning, he said.

The district plans to partner with the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History to offer enrichment activities, Moore said. The vocational and technical training department and the district bookmobile will also offer enrichment programs, he said.

Partnerships with summer schools bear fruit

Dworkin, CEO of the National Summer Learning Association, said partnerships between school districts and community organizations can be fruitful. Districts and their partner organizations each have their own resources and areas of strength, he said, and summer programs tend to be stronger when they pool those resources. Summer is a good time for districts to build relationships with these organizations because there is more time, Dworkin said.

“Everyone wants to work together,” he said. “But once the school year starts, everyone is so busy it’s really hard to do that.”

Many nonprofits like the Boys & Girls Club and government youth-serving agencies like libraries and parks departments have summer programs that could be good partnerships for school districts, Dworkin said. But other potential partners are not so obvious. Some businesses that don’t typically serve young people are getting involved in youth activities during the summer, he said. And some hospitals run summer programs to teach kids from underrepresented backgrounds what it’s like to be a doctor.

Finding these programs and figuring out what a partnership might look like requires a certain amount of what Dworkin calls “creative community matchmaking.” It is a process that can only be managed locally, he said.

“It’s not made in Austin, and it’s not made in Washington, DC,” he said. “It’s done community by community.”

Summer school is not just class work

Dworkin’s organization has advocated for summer apprenticeship programs that place greater emphasis on enrichment activities for decades. Historically, summer programs have been compulsory, remedial and solely focused on academics, he said. A good summer apprenticeship program is none of that, Dworkin said. It should include an academic component, he said, but it should also focus on enrichment activities that interest students. Although some students may be required to be there, the most effective programs are engaging and exciting enough that students want to be there, whether they have to be there or not, he said.

School officials should also ensure their summer programs focus on building relationships, Dworkin said. The relationship between students and adults should be an even higher priority than academics, he said. If students do not feel a strong positive connection with the teacher who asks them to spend part of their summer vacation coming to school to learn reading and math, the education they receive there will not will make no difference.

Before the pandemic, summer was the least equitable time in education, Dworkin said. Affluent families would spend thousands of dollars sending their children to summer programs that would allow them to explore a wide range of interests, he said. But the poorest families usually didn’t have access to these programs or didn’t even know they existed. But now, as more and more school leaders recognize the importance of summer school in helping their students catch up, many districts are beginning to make these kinds of programs available to all students, did he declare.

Last year, in the face of steep school declines, school officials across the country recognized the importance of effective summer learning programs, Dworkin said. But the federal money to fund those programs didn’t arrive until March, leaving district leaders scrambling to expand their summer offerings at the last minute, he said. As a result, the quality of these programs across the country was mixed.

This year, school leaders had more time to prepare and also had the chance to learn what worked and what didn’t work last year, Dworkin said. There is still a lot of need for these programs, not only in academic terms but also in terms of mental health, he said.

The kinds of extracurricular activities that made students feel connected to school, such as recess, field trips and plays, were among the first things disrupted early in the pandemic. This left many students feeling isolated, Dworkin said. Some students still struggle with the social and emotional ramifications of this isolation, he said. Summer can be a great time to help these students work through those feelings and make the connections they’ve been missing, he said.

Fort Worth Star-Telegram Related Stories

Silas Allen is an education journalist who focuses on challenges and possible solutions in the Fort Worth school system. Allen graduated from the University of Missouri. Before coming to the Star-Telegram, he covered education and other topics in the Stillwater and Oklahoma City, Oklahoma newspapers. He was also editor of the Dallas Observer, where he wrote about K-12 and higher education. He was born and raised in southeastern Missouri.

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Richmond officials weigh in on use of ARPA money for security initiatives after recent shootings | Daily news alerts https://owlandmonkeyhaven.co.uk/richmond-officials-weigh-in-on-use-of-arpa-money-for-security-initiatives-after-recent-shootings-daily-news-alerts/ Sun, 05 Jun 2022 00:55:00 +0000 https://owlandmonkeyhaven.co.uk/richmond-officials-weigh-in-on-use-of-arpa-money-for-security-initiatives-after-recent-shootings-daily-news-alerts/ RICHMOND — Recent high-profile mass shootings, including a May 24 incident at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, that left 19 students and two teachers dead, gave city council members pause to determine whether pandemic funding could be better spent. improve community safety. Richmond City Council took no action last week, instead providing a consensus […]]]>

RICHMOND — Recent high-profile mass shootings, including a May 24 incident at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, that left 19 students and two teachers dead, gave city council members pause to determine whether pandemic funding could be better spent. improve community safety.

Richmond City Council took no action last week, instead providing a consensus that it would prefer to resume talks on Tuesday after an update at council’s meeting last week. Council member James Palmisciano led the request for additional time, saying he believed it was necessary so council members could do their due diligence in considering the best options for the community.

“In light of everything that’s happened in the past week, I think we have an opportunity to go around the wagons so to speak,” Palmisciano said during last week’s meeting.

“It’s worth looking at our schools, seeing how we could use ARPA money to build training and safety and things for our police department to improve how they’re able to respond. when needed,” he continued.

For Richmond officials, who have sought to focus on how to spend the community’s $2.3 million in American Rescue Plan Act funding over the past few weeks, the short timeline is unlikely to have a significant impact, provided all the money is properly allocated and spent. in accordance with federal deadlines.

The council has committed only $174,000 so far to various projects or initiatives, including $46,050 and a matching grant from the U.S. Department of Justice’s Community Oriented Policing Hiring Program, or COPS; $64,000 for digital police radios; $20,000 to fund a health care advocate position that would coordinate with the Richmond Police Department; $24,000 for computer hardware; and $20,000 for the purchase of equipment for Beaver River Park.

Chief Financial Officer Laura Kenyon said the board-approved projects were all initially included in the department’s 2022-23 fiscal budget requests, but were moved once it was determined they could be funded. with ARPA money.

Some of these grants will already help improve school safety, said Richmond Police Chief Elwood M. Johnson Jr.. With COPS funding, the city will be able to increase police presence on each school property, providing a visible and easily available police resource on site. The health care advocacy component would also aid police responses, officials said, providing a resource to partner with and provide individuals with the appropriate assistance they may need depending on the circumstances.

Palmisciano said he believes the city has the ability to deliver even greater safety improvements, but more time is needed to examine how similar efforts in other communities have fared.

“There are schools and communities [using ARPA money for security] already. I just need more time to be able to watch this and think,” he said.

The council had also previously expressed support for a $75,000 initiative that would fund the hiring of a director of social services and the creation of a department of social services in the city, but that money was not allocated during no vote of the board.

Pamela A. Rohland, chair of the city’s welfare committee, said while it might seem like a significant cost upfront, the benefits of having a social services director would far outweigh the costs over time.

Rohland told council members the new superintendent would be able to provide assistance to struggling residents and directly help address the city’s mental health needs. The director would also serve to take the pressure off local police officers, who Rohland said took it upon themselves to provide assistance to the senior center – including an officer even taking an elderly resident to a medical appointment at rigor.

“If we had a director of social services, he could also help write grant applications to help relieve the police of all the extra work they are doing,” she said. “A dedicated manager who would be able to find out where the spaces are, where the resources are, and help coordinate transportation.”

Council members are expected to resume discussions at their regular meeting scheduled for 6 p.m. Tuesday at Richmond City Hall.

jvallee@thewesterlysun.com

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State Senate approves second reading of Medicaid expansion bill https://owlandmonkeyhaven.co.uk/state-senate-approves-second-reading-of-medicaid-expansion-bill/ Wed, 01 Jun 2022 22:21:00 +0000 https://owlandmonkeyhaven.co.uk/state-senate-approves-second-reading-of-medicaid-expansion-bill/ RALEIGH, NC (WITN) — The North Carolina Senate voted almost unanimously on Wednesday to expand a Medicaid expansion bill. House Bill 149 passed 113 to 1 at second reading. The Medicaid expansion bill, if passed, will do the following: Extends Medicaid to people earning up to 138% of the federal property level ($38,295 for a […]]]>

RALEIGH, NC (WITN) — The North Carolina Senate voted almost unanimously on Wednesday to expand a Medicaid expansion bill.

House Bill 149 passed 113 to 1 at second reading.

The Medicaid expansion bill, if passed, will do the following:

  • Extends Medicaid to people earning up to 138% of the federal property level ($38,295 for a family of four).
  • Establishes the Health Care Access and Stabilization Program that will take at least $600 million from the federal government — and potentially up to $3 billion — to strengthen North Carolina hospitals.
  • Requires the state’s 10% share to be paid by modernizing the state’s existing hospital assessment and adopting a new one for hospitals.
  • Requires transparency in the form of annual reports from the Department of Health and Human Services on program finances.
  • Gives the Secretary of DHHS the ability to terminate extended coverage if the state portion cannot be covered.
  • Requires expanded coverage to be discontinued if the 90/10 Federal Medical Assistance percentage changes.
  • Establishes a work requirement for extended coverage, similar to work requirements already provided by law.
  • Reform state certificate of need laws by creating two separate application paths.
  • Stop surprise medical bills by requiring healthcare facilities to notify patients if they need to see out-of-network providers.
  • Requires health insurance providers to cover telehealth services.
  • Allows advanced practice registered nurses to practice at the peak of their license, granting them full practice authority.

WITN spoke to supporters about the impact this could have.

“If that doesn’t happen, truth be told, people are going to die,” Adrienne Hayes-Singleton said. As a person with diabetes, Hayes-Singleton relies on good medical coverage. She’s between jobs right now and knows she may be stuck making too much money for Medicaid with her next job, but not enough to get adequate private insurance.

“Type 2 diabetes comes with eye problems, other problems, and you know, it’s a product of diabetes. Every time I get glasses, I have to pay out of pocket because the insurance I currently work with doesn’t cover it. Medicaid would,” she said.

The Hayes-Singleton story is one many people share — of being stuck in the Medicaid coverage gap. That’s something the proposed Medicaid expansion bill is targeting and would give North Carolina an additional $1.5 billion as part of the US bailout.

In Pitt County alone, it would reach more than 10,000 additional people.

“DSS covers up to 53,100 people with Medicaid in Pitt County. If the expansion were to take place, we could potentially serve up to 65,000 people,” said Dr. Augustine Frazer, acting director of the Pitt County Department of Social Services. He said it would impact more than those who get coverage. “Economists say as much as $144 million will be added to the Pitt County economy from the Medicaid expansion alone.”

That bill passed first reading in the state Senate on Wednesday, but is now heading for third reading. If he passed by, he could then go all the way to the house. There is, however, skepticism as to the direction it will take from here. He could eventually head to the rules committee and die.

The bill is slated for a final vote on Thursday, and if it gets final approval, it will head to the North Carolina House of Representatives.

Copyright 2022 WITN. All rights reserved.

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Approval of a federal grant for the study of Abenaki sculptures at Bellows Falls https://owlandmonkeyhaven.co.uk/approval-of-a-federal-grant-for-the-study-of-abenaki-sculptures-at-bellows-falls/ Mon, 30 May 2022 15:34:00 +0000 https://owlandmonkeyhaven.co.uk/approval-of-a-federal-grant-for-the-study-of-abenaki-sculptures-at-bellows-falls/ The carvings along the Connecticut River at Bellows Falls are an important Abenaki site. Photo courtesy of Rich Holschuh A federal grant will support the study of a petroglyph site at Bellows Falls by a local indigenous group, the Elnu Abenaki. Those involved say this is just the first step in promoting education about local […]]]>
The carvings along the Connecticut River at Bellows Falls are an important Abenaki site. Photo courtesy of Rich Holschuh

A federal grant will support the study of a petroglyph site at Bellows Falls by a local indigenous group, the Elnu Abenaki.

Those involved say this is just the first step in promoting education about local Native American history in the Connecticut River Valley.

Two sets of sculptures depict more than a dozen minimalist faces, some featuring what look like horns or antennae. First discovered by white settlers in the late 19th century, the petroglyphs are thought to have been carved by members of the Abenaki tribe several hundred to 3,000 years ago, archaeologists say.

The town of Rockingham, which includes the village of Bellows Falls, in conjunction with the Elnu Abenaki, received a National Park Service Underrepresented Communities Grant of nearly $37,000 to support two years of research around the site, starting this fall.

Roger Longtoe Sheehan, chief of the Elnu Abenaki, said he hopes the project will raise awareness of the Abenaki people and the landscape they traditionally inhabited.

“People in Bellows Falls, most people there weren’t quite sure why this stuff is there. Why are these pictograms there? Why are there graves there? he said.

According to Longtoe Sheehan, the Great Falls was a popular fishing spot and underground spirits were believed to live beneath the turbulent waters.

Rich Holschuh, historical preservation officer for the Elnu, and Gail Golec, archaeologist, lead the project.

The Elnu received state recognition in 2011 and are one of four state-recognized Abenaki groups.

Recently, these groups have come under intense scrutiny. At an event at the University of Vermont in late April, members of the Odanak First Nation, an Abenaki reservation in Quebec, questioned the legitimacy of the Abenakis of Vermont.

To Holschuh – a spokesperson for Elnu – who receives the grant indicates that the Abenakis of Vermont correspond to the target of the funding: underrepresented communities.

“(The project) is the right thing to do, and it’s the right time to do it,” he said.

According to Holschuh, the study will examine the petroglyphs in context, linking other significant Indigenous sites in the Connecticut River Valley.

Titled “Kchi Pontegok” (pronounced kit-SEE-POHN-tuh guk), which means “at the Great Falls” in the Western Abenaki language, the project will study the two petroglyph panels near the Great Falls along the Connecticut River downstream from Vilas Pont.

A similar petroglyph site is located downstream where the Connecticut and West rivers meet in Brattleboro, Golec said. She hopes to study the Bellows Falls site in the context of Brattleboro.

Throughout New England, similar petroglyphs are extremely rare, said Vermont state archaeologist Jess Robinson. According to Robinson, the Vermont carvings could be up to 3,000 years old, but are likely more recent. Because scientists cannot date the carbon etchings and many sites have been re-engraved over the years, it is difficult to date the images accurately, he said.

At Bellows Falls, the petroglyph project will allow for both archaeological study and cultural investigation.

According to Golec, the archaeologist who helped lead the study, part of what makes the project unique is the leading role the Elnu will play in historical research and collecting relevant oral histories.

“We want the Indigenous perspective and Indigenous peoples themselves to be at the forefront of this research,” she said.

Diana Jones, project coordinator and member of the Elnu Abenaki, said the work will result in changes to Bellows Falls Island’s listing in the National Register of Historic Places, which may result in a separate listing for petroglyphs.

Jones, who is a member of the Rockingham Planning Commission, explained that the study of the petroglyphs is part of wider plans for collaboration between the city government and the Elnu.

A recently formed committee that includes petroglyph project leaders plans to open an Abenaki cultural center in an existing building near the Bellows Falls site, Jones said. The group requested $10,000 in US federal Rescue Plan Act funding for the initiative.

And as the Rockingham Planning Commission rewrites its city plan this year, it plans to add language that explicitly supports the local Indigenous community, whether through public education programs, protecting important archaeological sites. or maintaining a working relationship with the Elnu.

“I’ve lived here all my life,” Jones said. “Let’s just say I wasn’t properly educated about the culture.”

“We are just a state-recognized tribe. But being federally recognized as an underrepresented community, even in the guise of just a grant, is so important,” she added.

For the Abenakis of Odanak in Canada, federal funding for the Abenakis of Vermont is worrisome.

Jacques Watso, an Odanak councillor, expressed concern that the Elnu would use the grant to support a “rewritten history” of the Abenakis of Vermont.

“They set up the narrative in Vermont. So we are just starting to talk about our ancestral territories,” he said.

“Vermonters,” Watso added, should be able to interview state-recognized tribes “without fear of being called racists simply for asking questions.”

The Abenakis of Odanak were not allowed to participate in the statehood process, Watso said. The Abenakis of Vermont have used the US-Canada border — a colonial border — to thwart dialogue, he said.

Holschuh, the Elnu leader of the petroglyph project, highlighted a larger goal of learning more about the Great Falls.

“Anyone who wants to participate is welcome. This is not an exclusive, exclusive business,” he said.

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Tags: Abenakis, Bellows Falls, Connecticut River, Diana Jones, Elnu, Elnu Abenaki, Gail Golec, Jacques Watso, Odanak, Odanak First Nation, petroglyphs, Rich Holschuh, Rockingham, Roger Longtoe Sheehan

Ethan Weinstein

About Ethan

Ethan Weinstein is a general duty reporter who focuses on Windsor County and surrounding areas. Previously, he worked as an associate editor for the Mountain Times and wrote for the Vermont Standard.