Civic News & Info
DONATE YOUR GENTLY USED WINTER COATS PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Civic News & Info
Written by Denise Zimmer   
Tuesday, 22 November 2011 09:42
There are very few things that make an immediate and positive impact on a child’s life. Having a warm winter coat not only keeps the child warm, but helps keep the child healthy, in school, and allows the child to play outside with other students. Warm winter coats support the physical, social and emotional needs of students. Last year, the Dr. David E. Lane Coats for Kids Program gave that gift to more than 3,300 children who would have had no protection from our cold Midwest winters. Along with coats, we provided 2,539 hats, 2,083 pairs of gloves, 144 scarves and 80 pairs of snow pants. The program was utilized by 99 area schools and 20 community agencies.

The Coats for Kids Program and Advisory Board includes volunteers from participating schools, businesses and the Mississippi Bend Area Education Agency (AEA).  Coats are collected, cleaned, sized and then packaged for distribution at individual schools.  The program serves schools in Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois.

Donations of winter coats (new or used) may be taken to any Burke Cleaners location in the Quad Cities. All sizes, infant through adult, are accepted. Cash donations may now be made on our website at www.qcacoatsforkids.org or mailed to the Coats for Kids Program, in care of the Mississippi Bend AEA, 729 - 21st Street, Bettendorf, Iowa  52722. Coats for Kids is a 503.1 non-profit organization serving schools in Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois. Donations are tax deductible.

For more information about Coats for Kids and how you can help please contact Denise Zimmer, Facilitator of Operations, at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or 563-344-6320.

 

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Cain Requests That Justice Elena Kagan Recuse Herself from the Supreme Court’s Obamacare Hearing PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Civic News & Info
Written by J D Gordon   
Monday, 21 November 2011 16:36
Republican presidential candidate and businessman Herman Cain today requested that Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan recuse herself from the upcoming Supreme Court hearing on Obamacare.

As a political appointee in President Obama’s Justice Department, Justice Kagan strongly advocated for the government takeover of health care and during the bill’s debate, then- Solicitor General Kagan actively supported a government-run system and sent a jubilant email to then-Justice Department colleague Laurence Tribe saying: ““I hear they have the votes, Larry!! Simply amazing.”

“I request that Justice Kagan recuse herself immediately from hearing the Obamacare case,” Cain said. “Members of the highest court in the land should be impartial, strictly follow the Constitution and should not carry water for former employers in the White House.”

According to 28 USC 455, Supreme Court justices must recuse from “any proceeding in which his impartiality might reasonably be questioned” and if they have at any time “expressed an opinion concerning the merits of the particular case in controversy” while he or she “served in governmental employment.”

 
OBAMA ADMINISTRATION ANNOUNCES MORE THAN $2 MILLION TO FUND HOUSING FOR VERY LOW-INCOME SENIORS IN BURLINGTON, IOWA PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Civic News & Info
Written by HUD Public Affairs   
Monday, 21 November 2011 15:49

In addition to this capital advance, three-year rental subsidy will help cover rent and operating costs

WASHINGTON – More very low-income senior citizens in Iowa will have access to affordable supportive housing thanks to $2.3 million in housing assistance announced today by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). These funds will help non-profit organizations produce accessible housing, offer rental assistance, and facilitate supportive services for the elderly

The grant funding awarded under HUD’s Sections 202 Supportive Housing program will kick start construction or major rehabilitation for more than 97 housing developments in 42 different states and Puerto Rico.  In Iowa, 15 additional elderly households will be affordably housed with access to needed services in Burlington where “West Central Illinois Area Agency on Aging” was awarded $2,147,500.

“The Obama Administration is committed to helping our senior citizens find a decent, affordable place to live that is close to needed healthcare services and transportation,” said HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan.  “Recent bipartisan changes to HUD’s supportive housing programs will allow us to better serve some of our more vulnerable populations who would otherwise be struggling to find a safe and decent home of their own.”

In Burlington, the capital advance funds will be used to construct a single story 15 unit facility and an additional $156,300 three-year HUD rental subsidy will help cover rent and operating costs.  The one-bedroom units will feature adjustable height shelving, lever handles and be designed for wheelchair adaptability.  The project is in close proximity to a grocery store, wellness center, and other desirable neighborhood amenities.  Residents will have access to a daily door-to-door transport service.

Enacted early this year with strong bipartisan support, the Frank Melville Supportive Housing Investment Act and the Section 202 Supportive Housing for the Elderly Act provided needed enhancements and reforms to HUD’s programs.  Nonprofit grant recipients will now receive federal assistance that is better connected to state and local health care investments, allowing greater numbers of vulnerable elderly individuals to access the housing they need even more quickly.

Section 202 Capital Advances will provide $545 million nationwide to 97 projects in 42 States and Puerto.  In addition to funding the construction, acquisition, and rehabilitation of multifamily developments, HUD’s Section 202 program will also provide $54 million in rental assistance so that residents only pay 30 percent of their adjusted incomes.  Section 202 provides very low-income elderly persons 62 years of age or older with the opportunity to live independently in an environment that provides support services to frail elderly resident.

HUD provides these funds to non-profit organizations in two forms:

 

  • Capital Advances.  This is funding that covers the cost of developing, acquiring, or rehabilitating the development.  Repayment is not required as long as the housing remains available for occupancy by very low-income elderly persons for at least 40 years.

  • Project Rental Assistance Contracts.  This is funding that goes to each development to cover the difference between the residents’ contributions toward rent and the cost of operating the project.

 

Residents must be “very low income” with household incomes less than 50 percent of their median for that area.  However, most households that receive Section 202 assistance earn less than 30 percent of the median for their area.  Generally, this means that a one-person household will have an annual income of about $13,500.

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Lt. Governor Simon testifies on rural EMS issues PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Civic News & Info
Written by Kathryn Phillips   
Monday, 21 November 2011 15:25

Asks state to consider more online training for rural EMTs

GALESBURG – November 15, 2011. As chair of the Governor's Rural Affairs Council, Lt. Governor Sheila Simon asked a state task force today to consider expanding online training for rural emergency medical service (EMS) providers.

Simon said greater online training could improve recruitment and retention of paid and volunteer workers who must take 120 hours of continuing education every four years to remain certified. Rural emergency medical technicians often pay out-of-pocket for continuing education, which can require costly overnight travel and lost wages for volunteers who must take time off from their regular jobs, Simon said.

Simon's request came during a House EMS task force hearing at Galesburg City Hall. The 24-member House EMS task force, which is co-chaired by Reps. Don Moffitt (R-Galesburg) and Lisa Dugan (D-Kankakee), is holding public hearings across the state and will issue recommendations to the Governor and General Assembly by the end of the year.

"The EMS providers we rely on to handle life or death situations are finding themselves on life support," Simon said. "We need to find creative ways to help them attract qualified employees and manage the high cost of doing business in large areas with small populations."

Rural providers are facing revenue problems because reimbursement rates from third-party sources such as Medicaid do not cover the increased cost of providing services, Simon said. Rural providers also report that non-emergency calls for transportation or assistance, which may not be billable or go unpaid, place further strain on budgets.

“It is a privilege to work with Lt. Governor Simon, Rep. Moffitt, fellow task force members and all the EMS personnel on this important state issue,” Dugan said. “It is imperative that we realize and help solve some of the problems EMS providers face so they can continue to serve the public.”

Under the Governor’s Rural Affairs Council, Simon is creating an EMS subcommittee to improve emergency services for rural residents. Dottie Miles, the executive director of Jackson County Ambulance Service, and Greg Scott, EMS coordinator for the McLean County Area EMS System, will serve as co-chairs of the subcommittee.

“This subcommittee will bring together a diverse group of volunteers from across rural Illinois with a variety of EMS experience,” Simon said. “I look forward to working with the subcommittee, as well as the House EMS task force, to identify innovative solutions to the problems facing rural providers and residents.”

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Facts are Stubborn Things: Setting the Record Straight on the Justice Department Oversight Hearing PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Civic News & Info
Written by Sen Chuck Grassley   
Tuesday, 15 November 2011 13:46

Senate Judiciary Committee Oversight Hearing with Attorney General Eric Holder, Nov. 8, 2011

•           Senator Grassley: “Who will be held accountable for allowing a letter to Congress with a statement that many people in the Justice Department knew was false?

Attorney General Holder: “Well again I – I have to dispute, with due respect, the assertion that people in the Justice Department knew it was false.”

•           Attorney General Holder to Senator Cornyn: “February the 4th, the information that was contained in that letter was thought to be accurate.  It wasn’t until sometime after that that we had a sense that the information was not, in fact, accurate.  So it wasn’t as if the date upon which we knew the information was inaccurate was on February the 4th.”

•           Senator Lee: “And – and you’ve reiterated several times that people within the Department of Justice believed that the initial statements denying knowledge of Fast and Furious were accurate.  They believed they were accurate.  Obviously these were some people and not all people, right?  Because clearly some people knew.

Attorney General Holder: “Exactly.”

FACT

On November 1, 2011, Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer admitted in testimony before the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism that he knew the statement in the February 4th letter to Senator Grassley was absolutely false.  Mr. Breuer had admitted in a statement issued the day before, on October 31, 2011, that gunwalking in a case known as Operation Wide Receiver was brought to his attention in April 2010.  Documents produced by the Justice Department show that in addition to Mr. Breuer, his Deputy Assistant Attorney General Jason Weinstein, leadership within the Gang Unit of the department’s Criminal Division, and various Gang Unit prosecutors were also aware that guns had been walked in Operation Wide Receiver.  Thus, many senior officials at Justice Department headquarters clearly knew that it was false to assert that “ATF makes every effort to interdict weapons that have been purchased illegally” — because they at least knew that ATF had walked guns in Wide Receiver.  Correspondence that has been produced in response to Freedom of Information Act requests makes clear that the Criminal Division reviewed the February 4 letter multiple times before it was sent to Senator Grassley.

 

Further, as a follow-up to the letter, Deputy Assistant Attorney General Weinstein conducted a widely-attended briefing on February 10, 2011 for staff of Senate Judiciary Committee members.  In that briefing, Mr. Weinstein did not disclose the gunwalking to staff, and clearly left the impression that they stood by the Justice Department’s Feb. 4 denial of the whistleblowers allegations, even though he was the same individual who brought gunwalking to Mr. Breuer’s attention nine months earlier in April 2010.

 
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