Capitol Update: Rep. Woodard recounts experiences as freshman legislator, like ‘drinking from a firehose’

first_imgRep. Brandon Woodard says being a freshman lawmaker can sometimes feel like “drinking from a firehose.”Each legislative session, we provide the Shawnee Mission area’s elected officials with the chance to share their thoughts about what’s happening in the state capitol. Rep. Brett Parker, Rep. Brandon Woodard and Sen. Pat Pettey are scheduled to send updates this week. Here’s Rep. Woodard’s filing:Navigating the legislature as a first-term lawmaker is often compared to ‘drinking from a firehose,’ and my experience can be summed up as exactly that. On my first full day as a Representative, I was invited to the Governor’s ceremonial office with Rep. Susan Ruiz for a surprise signing of the executive order reinstating protections for LGBTQ state workers. After the Governor’s dialogue with the press pool, the reporters came directly to ask questions of Rep. Ruiz and me, as Kansas’ first two openly-LGBTQ lawmakers. I don’t believe many freshmen legislators start their first full day with interviews from television, radio, and newspaper reporters; however, it was a great way to overcome the nerves of media interviews.In what has been described as a ‘do-nothing’ legislative session, one upside is that I’ve had the time to familiarize myself with the building, begin building relationships with veteran lawmakers and my fellow first-term colleagues, and become acquainted with the hundreds of policy advocates, legislative staff, researchers, and revisors who make the wheels of progress spin at the Kansas Statehouse every day.As a first-term legislator, you’re provided with endless advice from your colleagues and those who work in and around the legislative process. Everything from “show up, don’t say anything, soak up everything you can learn for the first two years” to “make your voice heard, stand up for what you believe in, and ask lots of questions.” I would describe my experience as being somewhere in between those two suggestions. I’ve found my niche interest areas in higher education funding, LGBTQ equality, and more recently tax policy. Within each of those issue areas, I’ve had the chance to meet with staff that work on those issues, visit with colleagues about ways to make progress, and to look into ways that our decisions impact the residents of District 30 and Kansans.Another part of growing into the role is making rules for yourself and following them to balance both the personal and professional life. I keep Friday evenings and Sunday mornings free to catch up on laundry, visit friends and family, buy groceries, and catch up on the latest Netflix series. I’ve also had to become comfortable with the fact that while it is possible to do almost anything, I cannot do everything.Most importantly, as a freshman legislator serving a district formerly represented by someone who refused to meet with constituents, reply to phone calls or emails, show up to town halls or be accessible to the voters, I feel a deep responsibility to be as accessible to the residents of Lenexa and Olathe that sent me to Topeka to work for them. I’ve been holding two town halls each month, responding to every constituent that contacts my office, and making time to show up at events throughout the district. Live tweeting and weekly updates through newsletters and social media have helped me find my voice, engage with constituents, and learn to be an effective, accessible first-term lawmaker.last_img read more

Gophers snap nine-game losing streak on senior night

first_imgMason stayed consistent on the line, hitting 8-9 from the charity strike.“He was terrific,” Pitino said. “He did a lot of phenomenal things. His numbers you look at them from the points to the assists. What he’s done here over the course of four years, a guy who was a three-star player.”Guard Dupree McBrayer, in his second game back from injury, had the second-most points with 16 and Jordan Murphy had yet another double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds.The other senior that played Wednesday, center Bakary Konaté, fouled out in the final minutes of the game, and walked off the Williams Arena hardwood with the fans shouting his nickname, “BK, BK, BK.”“Honestly, I can not describe that feeling,” Konaté said. “It’s amazing.”The Gophers will play their last game of the season on Sunday against Purdue, ending a tumultuous regular season for the team.“Those three seniors embody what it’s all about,” Pitino said. “They’ve been through ups, downs, and they’ve never run and hide.” Gophers snap nine-game losing streak on senior nightSenior Nate Mason had 33 points in his final game at Williams Arena.Max OstensoThe camera follows forward Jordan Murphy as he maneuvers past Iowa forward Jack Nunge during a game at Williams Arena on Wednesday, Feb. 21. Jack WarrickFebruary 22, 2018Jump to CommentsShare on FacebookShare on TwitterShare via EmailPrintThe Gophers have not had their ideal season, but guard Nate Mason made sure his final game at Williams Arena ended the way he wanted.Fans of Minnesota men’s basketball appreciated Mason running down the elevated floor of the Barn one last time, where he scored 33 points against Iowa. He hit most of his shots, 11-19, and commanded the floor to help his team earn a bounce-back, 86-82 victory.The 6-foot-2-inch guard, who has gone through an eight-win season, an NCAA tournament berth, conference awards and injuries, added another resilient performance to a long list.“The emotions were really high, especially after the senior introduction,” Mason said. “We just wanted to come out and do everything it costs so we can get this win. Me, [Bakary Konaté] and [Gaston Diedhou] knew it would be our last game on this court, and we just wanted to go out with a win.”Iowa’s Isaiah Moss cut the Gophers’ once 20-point lead to two with three seconds left in the game, but Minnesota’s Davonte Fitzgerald made two free throws to keep the game out of reach, snapping the nine-game losing streak with a win over Iowa (12-18, 3-14 Big Ten).“We came out, obviously, we were ready to go and played really good basketball for 38 1/2 minutes,” head coach Richard Pitino said. “Then we really got tired, they made some big shots, but proud of our guys.”It looked like Minnesota (15-15, 4-13 Big Ten) would keep the game out of reach in the final minute, as the Gophers had an 11-point lead with 1:05 left on the clock. But Moss, who ended the game with 32 points, scored 14 points himself in the last minute to bring Iowa within a well-shot basket of the win.The Gophers were leading 22-2 after Mason hit his free throw at 11:07 to play in the first. The best start all season was followed by a seven minute scoreless stretch, and the Gophers let Iowa back into the game at 22-13 with just under four minutes in the half, after they gave up 11 unanswered points and ended with a first half score of 31-19. last_img read more

NEWS SCAN: H5N2 in Taiwan, outbreak tuna plant flaws, cholera vaccine in Haiti, cell phone alerts

first_imgMay 15, 2012H5N2 outbreaks hit two Taiwanese farmsAnimal health officials in Taiwan yesterday reported two H5N2 avian influenza outbreaks at poultry farms, one involving the highly pathogenic strain and one linked to the low-pathogenic version, according to reports to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE). Both locations are in the west central part of Taiwan. Highly pathogenic H5N2 was detected at a farm in Yun Lin county after a veterinarian noted poultry illnesses and deaths. The disease killed 3,850 of 15,461 susceptible poultry, and the remaining birds were culled to control the spread of the virus. An investigation found no other outbreaks at nearby farms. Meanwhile, low-pathogenic H5N2 was detected at a duck farm in T’ai Chung during active surveillance. The birds didn’t show any clinical signs, and all 176 of the farms ducks were destroyed as a preventive step.May 14 OIE report on highly pathogenic outbreakMay 14 OIE report on low-pathogenic outbreakFDA cites food-safety flaws at India tuna plant linked to Salmonella outbreakThe US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a report detailing 10 problems at a plant in India implicated in a 116-case outbreak of raw-tuna-linked Salmonella illness. FDA inspectors began a 6-day review of the plant on Apr 19, 6 days after officials announced that yellowfin tuna imported by Moon Marine USA Corp. of Cupertino, Calif., was the likely outbreak source. Four of the violations were noncompliance with Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) guidelines: (1) no critical control point (CCP) for the process of cutting, scraping and vacuum packaging; (2) no CCP for Clostridium botulinum and allergen labeling; (3) no CCP for metal detection; and (4) no critical limit for vessel monitoring and histamine records to show temperature was not at harmful levels. All companies that import food into the United States must comply with HACCP guidelines. Other shortcomings listed were lack of water monitoring; broken floor and wall tiles; product residue on knives, utensil storage boxes, and the ceiling after cleaning; peeling paint above the product processing line; and a lack of hand dryers in employee restrooms. The facility is in Alleppey in the Indian state of Kerala, according to the FDA report.FDA plant assessment reportCholera vaccination drive in Haiti progressingThe first phase of a pilot campaign to vaccinate 100,000 Haitians against cholera has been completed, the American Red Cross said in a statement posted on ReliefWeb yesterday. The first of two doses of vaccine was administered to 50,000 adults and children older than 9 years in the Artibonite region, which absorbed the brunt of the 2010 cholera epidemic, the organization said. The campaign goal is to provide two doses to 100,000 people in targeted rural and urban areas. “From everything I’ve seen, there is no one who was eligible for the vaccine who didn’t want it,” said Djencia Eresa Augustin, a cholera surveyor for Partners in Health, the Boston-based nonprofit group that’s leading the project. Vaccination teams were planning to give second doses to adults this week, and they will start vaccinating children under age 9 in the last week of May, the Red Cross said. The organization said it is contributing $1 million to the $1.3 million project. The oral vaccine, Shanchol, is 65% to 75% effective for up to 3 years, the statement said.May 14 American Red Cross statementCell phone emergency alert system set to debutA nationwide program to deliver weather and national emergency warnings to cell phones is slated to go live this month, according to media reports. The Commercial Mobile Alert System (CMAS), also known as the Personalized Local Alerting Network (PLAN), was proposed by the Federal Communications Commission based on the Warning Alert and Response Network (WARN) Act passed by Congress in 2006 along with $106 million in funding. The move was designed to modernize the nation’s emergency alert system, according to CTIA wireless emergency alerts consumer information (CTIA is an industry organization for wireless companies). The system is voluntary for cell phone companies, and so far at least seven companies are participating, including some of the nation’s largest carriers. The free messages include local weather alerts, Amber alerts, and presidential alerts. Consumers can opt out of all but the presidential alerts. The alerts, which carriers offer for free, look like text messages but are distinguished by their own tone and vibration. The messages are geographically targeted and sent using a one-way system that isn’t able to track consumers’ cell phones, according to background information from federal agencies and CTIA. Older cell phones may not be able to use the CMAS technology, and some newer ones may require software upgrades. Some cell phone companies have already tested the system and have rolled out the program in selected locations.CTIA wireless emergency alerts consumer informationMay 14 USA Today storyFCC Q and Alast_img read more

Geskankup reveal their retrofit plans to Mipim hordes

first_imgCoffee at the London Stand this morning was served with a bacon sandwich, a side of sun and a dose of hard hitting statistics. I was catching up with a trio who hit the headlines in the week leading up to Mipim, Craig Sparrow from Skanska, David Glover from Arup and Chris Smith from GE.For anyone who missed the news, the three firms have formed a partnership to deliver clients with a join green retrofit and rufurb service – something they think needs to be addressed by the industry immediately.Their message is that the time for talking has been and gone and now, action is required. and fast. “In order to meet the 2050 carbon reduction targets, the industry will need to retrofit one existing building in the UK per second,” said Craig. “The time has come to really get the ball rolling,” added Chris.” The GE/Skanska/Arup threesome, let’s call them Geskankup, are now urging other firms to follow suit in offering this kind of one stop shop to go some way to tackling the problem of retrofitting the 98% of existing building stock in the UK.They have been busy down here in Cannes scoping out opinion, especially from clients, and the resopnse has been good: “We have had a very strong reaction and enquiries from high end clients with portfolios of projects all the way down,” said David.  And they are all quick to quash concerns about extra costs and the need for new technology: “It’s all a myth about costing too much and cliams the technology doesn’t exist,” said Craig. “there is really no debate about what’s required, it’s about better management of equipement post conmstruction with technology that already exisits.Everything we are doing, we have always done. Just more effectively. It’s not as hard as you would think.” Go Team Geskankup…last_img read more

Family violence services streamlined

first_imgBy Aneeka Simonis THE family violence policing unit based in Pakenham will soon be relocated to a support super centre…[To read the rest of this story Subscribe or Login to the Gazette Access Pass] Thanks for reading the Pakenham Berwick Gazette. Subscribe or Login to read the rest of this content with the Gazette Digital Access Pass subscription.last_img

Captain Hunt to the rescue as Leafs edge Nitros in OT

first_imgAnother overtime. But this time the Good Guys won.Captain Sawyer Hunt got the last laugh on this former mates from the Bavarian City, scoring with 1:36 remaining in overtime to spark the Nelson Leafs to a 3-2 Kootenay International Junior Hockey League victory over the Kimberley Dynamiters Wednesday night at the NDCC Arena.The win, the first of the season for the Leafs over the Eddie Mountain squad, allows Nelson to leapfrog over the Castlegar Rebels and Grand Forks Border Bruins and into second place in the Murdoch Division standings.last_img read more