Civic News & Info
American Legion Post to Help Clinton Veterans PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Civic News & Info
Written by Scott A. Miller   
Tuesday, 26 October 2010 11:51
INDIANAPOLIS (October 26, 2010) - Wartime veterans of Clinton have a better outlet through which to serve the community.  The American Legion, the nation's largest veteran's organization, is inviting all wartime era veterans in the area to join them in revitalizing American Legion, Post 190 to better to provide service to the community and veterans of Clinton.

Officers and staff members of the Indianapolis-based American Legion National Headquarters and Des Moines-based State Headquarters will be in town to kick off this community and veteran service campaign.

Additionally, an open house and "Welcome Home" event for all veterans, present and past, will be held at the Wild Rose Hotel in the conference center on Tuesday, November 2nd from 4-8 pm and on Wednesday, November 3rd from 2-6 pm.  The meetings will be designed to answer questions about The American Legion, VA issues, i.e. benefits, claims, problems, veterans' rights and survivor rights.  State and County Veterans Service officers will be on hand to assist with VA claims or questions.

In keeping with the 92-year tradition of The American Legion, the Clinton American Legion Post is dedicated to refocusing on community service and assistance to veterans.  The scope and nature of the Post's community service will be determined by its members and inputs from local civic and community officials.

"Service!  That's what The American Legion is all about," said Jerry Sebben, Department Commander, The American Legion, Department of Iowa.  "We exist to help each and every veteran, their families and the communities they live in.   Clinton is an ideal place to strengthen partnerships between the veterans and the community.  The people here care about their community and practice good citizenship every day.  Now, wartime veterans have a special place from which they can make a difference."

Since its inception in 1919, The American Legion has been a key advocate for veterans' benefits, children & youth, patriotic American values, a strong national defense and quality-of-life issues for those serving in today's armed forces.

The organization, which spearheaded the original GI Bill, has been advocating reform of the veteran's health care system under its GI Bill of Health.  Creation of the federal forerunner of the Department of Veterans Affairs as well as the agency's ascent to cabinet-level status is due in part to The American Legion's advocacy.  The American Legion was also instrumental in the establishment of the Veterans Home Loan, veterans hiring preference and just compensation to veterans suffering from illnesses related to their military service, including those whose ailments stem from exposure to Agent Orange and mysterious Persian Gulf origins.

Equally aggressive are The American Legion's efforts to instill values in young people through numerous programs, including American Legion Boys State, American Legion Boys Nation, Junior Shooting Sports, the National High School Oratorical Contest, American Legion Baseball, Teenage Suicide Prevention, Child Health and a McGruff Safe Kids Program.  The American Legion has supported Scouting since 1919.  Many American Legion Posts also support Junior ROTC high school units, fund-raising for handicapped children, the Children's Miracle Network and partnerships with other nonprofit organizations such as Special Olympics.

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SECC Meeting PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Civic News & Info
Written by Chris Berge   
Thursday, 21 October 2010 08:06
The next meeting of the Scott Emergency Communication Center (SECC) Board is October 28, 2010 AT 6:00 P.M.  They meet in the Board Room, 1st Floor, Scott County Administrative Center, 600 West Fourth Street, Davenport, Iowa.

 
Keeping Government on a Short Leash PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Grassley Press   
Monday, 18 October 2010 07:53
Keeping Government on a Short Leash

by U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley

The health of the U.S. economy typically serves as a good yardstick to gauge the public’s approval or disapproval towards Washington. This year, the public’s distaste for Washington’s appetite to tax, spend and borrow our way back to prosperity exposes a major disconnect between the political leadership and the grassroots.

Inch by inch, Washington’s cure for fixing health care, the economy, the environment, higher education, housing, Wall Street and Detroit has involved unprecedented taxpayer bailouts and unrealistic promises.

Many Iowans share how fed up they are with this Washington-knows-best approach to governance. From mandating individuals to buy health insurance to phasing out conventional light bulbs and shutting local lenders out of the school loan market, Washington is taking American consumers out of the decision-making process.

A Washington-knows-best philosophy undermines personal responsibility and weakens genuine accountability and effective transparency that are fundamental to upholding our government “of, by and for the people.”

I work to keep Washington on a short leash.  It’s not always popular, but I relish my job as a watchdog in Washington. It demands long haul oversight work that I have pursued as a representative for Iowa in the U.S. Senate. Holding the federal bureaucracy accountable, protecting the integrity of hard-earned tax dollars and keeping the people’s business open to the public are non-negotiable principles.

Recently, I’ve focused my oversight work on several federal agencies to give voice to the concerns of Iowa farmers, retirees, taxpayers and investors, including:

·         The EPA’s proposed federal rule that would dictate how much dust could reach beyond the ditch to the roadside when farmers harvest their crops;

·         Inadequate scrutiny of health care contractors by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Fraudulent claims and improper payments paid by Medicare siphons scarce tax dollars and further weakens the long-term solvency of this important health insurance program for retirees and disabled individuals. Consider one example in which a durable medical equipment supplier in Florida was ordered by a federal court in February to repay $445 million to the U.S. government. I want to know why CMS failed to detect suspicious billing activity (the investigation was launched by the FBI) and have serious concerns regarding how many cases of fraud go undetected.

·         The internal auditors at the Department of Defense are failing to follow the “money trail” and conduct full-scale contract audits. Unless the Inspector General commits to returning to the core mission of connecting the dots between a contract and a payment, the taxpaying public and military readiness risk losing even more to waste, fraud and abuse.

I also use legislative tools to establish accountability and transparency in government.

·         More than a decade ago, I secured passage of the landmark “Congressional Accountability Act” which holds the legislative branch of the federal government to the same civil rights, workplace safety and employment laws as the rest of the country.

·         My bipartisan effort to end the practice of so-called “secret holds” would end the ability of a single lawmaker to anonymously hold the people’s business hostage by preventing a nomination or bill from coming to a vote on the floor of the U.S. Senate.

·         My Witness Sunshine Resolution would require individuals who testify before Senate committees to disclose outside affiliations and financial interests in organizations which have ties to the issue under consideration. The public deserves to know about special interests witnesses might have that could influence the outcome of public policy.

·         The president signed into law my bipartisan legislation to repeal blanket exemptions of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) for the Securities and Exchange Commission. Considering the SEC’s failure to investigate the ponzi scheme cooked up by Bernard Madoff, it’s obvious the American public deserves more disclosure, not less.

It’s pretty clear that Washington sticks to the adage “if you give an inch, it’ll take a mile.”  Considering the $13 trillion national debt and fragile economic recovery, it’s more important than ever to make sure the federal government measures up to the highest standards of service, integrity and accountability.

 

Friday, October 15, 2010

 
Governor Quinn Urges July Flood Victims to Apply for Federal Assistance PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Civic News & Info
Written by Kara Beach   
Monday, 18 October 2010 07:35
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Nearly $260 Million in Federal Assistance Already Approved for July Floods; Largest Amount of Disaster Assistance in State History

SPRINGFIELD – October 14, 2010. Governor Pat Quinn today urged people affected by the July floods to apply for federal disaster assistance to help them recover from the storms. The deadline for registration was extended this week to Nov. 17 after the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) approved Governor Quinn’s extension request.

“With more than 1,000 applications for assistance still coming in each day, this extension will help ensure that everyone who was affected by the July floods has a chance to apply for aid,” said Governor Quinn. “This disaster has impacted more people than any other in our state’s history and already a historic level of federal assistance has been approved for people who were affected.”

Nearly $260 million in federal assistance has already been approved to help flood victims recover, and that figure continues to increase as more applications are approved. That amount is greater than federal assistance for any other disaster in Illinois history. According to FEMA, this is also the biggest federal disaster in the history of FEMA’s Region V, which includes Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin.

On Oct. 6, Governor Quinn asked the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to extend the registration period to Nov. 17. This 30-day extension of the original Oct. 18 deadline will ensure that everyone needing help has an opportunity to apply for the aid. Since Aug. 19, when FEMA approved Governor Quinn’s request for federal assistance for people and businesses affected by the floods, more than 123,000 applications have been received and nearly $260 million in assistance has been approved.

“In most cases, the number of applications dwindles considerably as the deadline nears,” said Joe Klinger, Interim Director of the Illinois Emergency Management Agency. “But with so many people applying each day, we know that the need for assistance is still great. This extension will enable more people to get the help they need.”

Counties included in the federal declaration for assistance to people and businesses include Cook, Carroll, DuPage, Jo Daviess, Ogle, Stephenson and Winnebago.

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Governor Quinn Announces State Investment in New Housing for Homeless Veterans PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Civic News & Info
Written by Kara Beach   
Monday, 18 October 2010 07:34

Hope Manor Apartments to Provide Job Training, Support Services

CHICAGO – October 14, 2010. Governor Pat Quinn today announced a $4 million state investment to help build a housing development that will provide quality, affordable apartments and supportive services for 80 Veterans who are homeless. Approximately 75 jobs will be created during the construction of Hope Manor Apartments in Chicago.

“Our Veterans deserve to have a place to call home after sacrificing so much for our nation,” said Governor Quinn. “The Hope Manor Apartments will provide safe homes for our Veterans and ensure that they receive the skills and support necessary to find stability.”

Hope Manor will provide supportive housing for up to 80 Veterans who are homeless. The four-story building on Chicago’s West Side will include 30 studio apartments, and 10 two-bedroom and 10 three-bedroom suites. Employment readiness classes, job training and coaching, computer training, a business resource center, a health and wellness clinic, recovery resources, individual counseling and case management will be available on the first floor of the development. Construction is expected to be completed in November 2011.

The Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA), the state’s housing agency, invested approximately $4 million in federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credits, federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funding and Illinois Affordable Housing Tax Credits to build the development. The federal tax credits will generate an additional $8.8 million in private equity for construction of the building.

“Hope Manor Apartments demonstrates how important supportive housing is to end homelessness,” said IHDA Executive Director Gloria L. Materre. “By investing in this development, we are getting our Veterans off the streets and giving them hope.”

Developed by the Volunteers of America of Illinois, the Hope Manor Apartments will also be financed with a $1 million U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs grant, and a $174,000 Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity grant. The City of Chicago donated the property to build Hope Manor, which will include a “green” roof and other environmentally-friendly features.

“Many Veterans continue to need facilities that provide supportive housing and services that allow them the opportunity to reach their fullest potential,” said Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs Director Dan Grant. “We salute and congratulate Volunteers of America for helping to fill this need with Hope Manor Apartments.”

Hope Manor Apartments is the latest Illinois development to break ground as a result of federal housing stimulus dollars created by ARRA. To date, ARRA has provided a jumpstart to construction of 2,646 affordable rental homes, creating more than 3,000 jobs across Illinois.

Veterans represent up to 15 percent of America’s homeless population. According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, more than 100,000 Veterans are homeless any given night.

For additional information on statewide resources available to Veterans, visit Veterans.Illinois.gov.

 

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