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Leahy marks Sunshine Week with FOIA hearing

first_imgThe Congress has also made good progress in strengthening FOIA.  Last year, the Senate unanimously passed the Faster FOIA Act ‘ a bill that Senator Cornyn and I introduced to establish a bipartisan Commission to study FOIA and to make recommendations to Congress on ways to further improve FOIA.  We will reintroduce this bill later this week.  As Americans from every corner of our Nation commemorate Sunshine Week 2011, they have many good reasons to cheer.  I am pleased that one of President Obama’s first official acts when he took office was to issue a historic new directive to strengthen FOIA.  Just yesterday, the Department of Justice launched the new FOIA.gov website, which compiles all of the Department’s FOIA data in one online location. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) held a hearing Tuesday on the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), the nation’s premier open government law.  The nation is celebrating Sunshine Week, an observance of the importance of an open and transparent government.The Vermont Legislature is going through the process of rewriting its open meeting and open records laws (ACLU explantaion). ‘The right to know is a cornerstone of our democracy,’ said Leahy.  ‘Without it, citizens are kept in the dark about key policy decisions that directly affect their lives.  Without public access to government information, officials can make decisions in the shadows, sometimes in collusion with special interests, escaping accountability for their actions.  In the digital age, FOIA remains an indispensable tool in protecting the people’s right to know.Leahy is a longtime advocate of open, transparent government, and has been a leader in Congress in pushing for reforms to update and strengthen FOIA.  He is the co-author of the OPEN Government Act, which was signed into law in 2007, and which made the first major reforms to FOIA in more than a decade.  He is also the co-author of the OPEN FOIA Act, which required greater transparency for legislative exemptions to FOIA.  The legislation was signed into law in October 2009. Member statements and witness testimony, as well as a webcast of the hearing, are available online. # # # # # Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.),Chairman, Committee On The JudiciaryHearing On ‘The Freedom Of Information Act:  Ensuring Transparency And Accountability In The Digital Age’   March 15, 2011Today, the Committee holds an important hearing on the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).  When Congress enacted FOIA more than 40 years ago, this watershed law ushered in a new and unprecedented era of transparency in government.  Four decades later, FOIA continues to give citizens access to the inner workings of their government and to guarantee the right to know for all Americans. I hope that the Congress will quickly enact this good government legislation.  There is also reason to cheer the recent unanimous decision by the Supreme Court in Federal Communications Commission v. AT&T Inc., concluding that corporations do not have a right of personal privacy under the Freedom of Information Act.  I am pleased that, in reaching this decision, our highest court honored congressional intent about the narrow scope of the personal privacy exemption to FOIA. These FOIA victories have made our Government more open and accountable to the American people.  But, our Government is still not as open and accessible to its citizens as it could ‘ and should ‘ be.Implementation of FOIA continues to be hampered by the increasing use of exemptions ‘ especially under section (b)(3) of FOIA.  Last year, Senators Grassley, Cornyn and I worked together on a bipartisan basis to repeal an overly-broad FOIA (b)(3) exemptions in the historic Wall Street reform bill, so that the American public will have access to important information about the state of our financial system.It is also essential that the American people have a FOIA law that is not only strengthened by reform, but properly enforced.  A report released yesterday by the National Security Archive found that, while there has been some progress in implementing the President’s FOIA reforms, only about half of the Federal agencies surveyed have taken concrete steps to update their FOIA guidance and assess their FOIA resources.  FOIA delays also continue to be a problem.  Twelve of the agencies surveyed had pending FOIA requests that were more than six years old, according to the report.  That is simply unacceptable.I am pleased that we have representatives from the Department of Justice and the Office of Government Information Services to discuss the Obama administration’s efforts to address these concerns and strengthen FOIA.  We are also fortunate to have a distinguished panel of FOIA experts to provide valuable perspectives on the importance of FOIA in guaranteeing the public’s right to know. I have said many times before ‘ during both Democratic and Republican administrations ‘ that freedom of information is neither a Democratic issue, nor a Republican issue.  It is an American issue.  I value the bipartisan partnership on FOIA matters that I have shared with Senator Cornyn over the years.  I will continue to work with Senator Cornyn, Senator Grassley and others on this Committee to advance freedom of information, so that the right to know is preserved for future generations.  I thank all of the distinguished witnesses that are appearing before the Committee today.  I look forward to today’s discussion. The Attorney General has also issued new FOIA guidance to help make our government agencies more open to the American people.  Last year, the Obama administration also issued another FOIA memorandum instructing federal agencies to update their FOIA training and guidance. The right to know is a cornerstone of our democracy.  Without it, citizens are kept in the dark about key policy decisions that directly affect their lives.  Without public access to government information, officials can make decisions in the shadows, sometimes in collusion with special interests, escaping accountability for their actions.  In the digital age, FOIA remains an indispensable tool in protecting the people’s right to know. WASHINGTON (Tuesday, March 15, 2011) ‘  # # # # #last_img read more

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Top 5 strategies for getting your credit union in the cloud

first_imgstrat·e·gy: A plan of action or policy designed to achieve a major or overall aimgame plan, plan (of action), action planThe times – they are a changing… and depending on whose statistics you believe things are changing quickly.Finding current credit union cloud statistics is almost impossible so instead checkout a few results from the recent January 2015, RightScale, State of the Cloud Survey that focused on infrastructure-as-a-service.930 IT professionals were asked about their adoption of cloud infrastructure and related technologies. The respondents ranged from technical executives to managers and practitioners and represented organizations of varying sizes across many industries. continue reading » 2SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

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Ben Williams grits it out to give SU advantage at the X

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ When Syracuse needed a faceoff win against Johns Hopkins to start overtime last Saturday, it turned to the senior who’s delivered many times before.Ben Williams, one of college lacrosse’s elite talents at the X, had won only 3-of-11 there in the second half as the Blue Jays clawed back from a four-goal SU run to take a late one-goal lead. But senior Nick Mariano tied the game at eight with 34 seconds left, and now Williams had a chance with a critical possession on the line against JHU’s Hunter Moreland: a player Williams’ father, David Williams, called his son’s “kryptonite.”JHU hadn’t planned on using Moreland, who had been injured, but a 5-for-6 first-half deficit at the X forced the Blue Jays into doing it just to compete. It didn’t matter in the end. Syracuse’s all-time program leader in groundballs quickly flicked the faceoff out from under Moreland and scooped it up to jumpstart an offense that gave SU the only offensive possession in OT.“It all starts with Ben Williams,” said JHU coach Dave Pietramala. “The one game (Syracuse) loses, he’s not there. That’s his level of importance.”Williams has either sealed games or provided the No. 6 Orange (5-1, 1-0 Atlantic Coast) with the last possession four times this season, most recently in a 9-8 win over the Blue Jays. But because of a midseason injury that caused Williams to miss the first game of his SU career, an 14-13 loss on Feb. 25 against Army, he’s not posting the eye-popping statistical draw number he’s used to. His 58.6 percent winning percentage is good for 21st in the NCAA, and he faces a formidable foe in No. 11 Duke’s (7-2) FOGO senior Kyle Rowe on Saturday at 1:30 p.m.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“I just try to get us the ball,” Williams said. “I want to put us in the best chance to win.”On Saturday, that means defeating Rowe, who has succeeded against Williams in the past. Williams won 14 of 25 in last year’s ACC Championship, but before he lost 16 of 28 to Rowe in a Syracuse early season overtime loss.Williams will also do it despite still feeling a little sore, he said on March 16, because of an injury he sustained earlier in the season. In his absence, longtime backup FOGO Cal Paduda entered but his 3-of-13 performance quickly moved him back onto the wing. Freshman Danny Varello came on and nearly scooped the Orange back into the game. His 10-of-17 mark inspired confidence for the Orange’s coaches and ensured that SU could be OK.But, really, no one replaces Williams’ skill on the faceoff, or perhaps his toughness.“I’m always talking with Benny when Benny’s not in his psychopathic game day mood,” Varello said. “He’s a good guy. … The first time I’ve ever seen Ben pregame was before Siena, and he was in the locker room putting on eye black. And he’s just smearing it all over his face and he’s saying like ‘Oops, oops,’ smearing it all over his face. I look at him like ‘What is this guy doing?’ I get my two stripes, I’m out of there.”Williams prides himself on simply being tougher than his opponent and dominating physically at the X. He made it to Division I from the uncommon lacrosse locale of Minnesota, and he hasn’t lost the edge he sharpened getting here. That’s why, no matter how his body feels or who lines up across from him, he approaches every faceoff with his physicality and rides with the results.“There are no secrets with Ben,” Desko said. “Everybody knows who he is in the scouting report and they’ll come up with some gimmicks to slow him down and he’ll be ready for it.” Comments Published on March 23, 2017 at 12:00 am Contact Sam: sjfortie@syr.edu | @Sam4TRlast_img read more

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Bicakcic again has the Offers from the Premiership

first_imgErmin Bicakcic again got the offers from England, as “Kicker” claimed in its Thurdsay edition. It is not known from which clubs offers came, neither are those some of the clubs who have previously shown interest in the footballer from Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH). Bicakcic said in his statement for the “Kicker” that he is pleased to see this interest in him, which is the best confirmation of his quality.“I am still focused on the games at Hoffenheim, “ he said indirectly excluding the possibility of leaving that club.It is assumed that neither the club leaders would agree to this option, especially after Sandro Wagner moved to Bayern.“I want to fully enjoy football, play every game and make this to be my time. I am in the best playing age,“ said Bicakcic. (Source: Fokus.ba/Photo: Sport.de)last_img read more

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Nearly $400 million spent is not enough for Mourinho

first_imgShare on: WhatsApp – United stumble –But United’s dropping of seven points in their past five games — including conceding a last-minute equaliser at Leicester on Saturday, has left City coasting towards the league title.“You say (we dropped) seven points from 15,” said Mourinho. “I say the last two matches we had 15 chances to score and we concede three… goals and an amazing free-kick.“So the boys do what they can, they are trying hard with the problems and injuries we have. I am not happy with the result, and against Leicester, but I am happy with my players.”United needed an injury-time equaliser from substitute Jesse Lingard — who also scored their first — to rescue even a point against Burnley, who had taken a 2-0 first-half lead through Ashley Barnes and Steven Defour.Burnley manager Sean Dyche had mixed feelings after a brilliant first-half performance but, ultimately, a failure to hold onto all three points, although he felt aggrieved that Sam Vokes was judged to have fouled Paul Pogba to give United the free-kick from which they levelled.“The decision that led to the goal, the lad jumps into Vokesy,” said Dyche. “I don’t know what he is supposed to do. In basketball that is ‘charging’.“So there is probably a mixture of feelings. And the only frustration is a couple of decisions went against us.” Manchester, United Kingdom | AFP |  Jose Mourinho says Manchester United are struggling to compete with Manchester City’s financial might and the sum of nearly £300 million he has spent on transfers is not enough to win the Premier League.A 2-2 draw with Burnley on Tuesday saw United lose further ground in the table to Pep Guardiola’s runaway leaders, who are 12 points clear with a game in hand.Mourinho claimed that United’s illustrious history does not guarantee them — or any similar club — success when faced with City’s huge resources.“When you say a club ‘like Manchester United’, do you think Milan is not as big as us?” said Mourinho, listing other big European clubs who are struggling domestically.“You think they are not as big as we are? Do you think Real Madrid are not as big as we are? You think Inter Milan is not as big as we are?“There are many big clubs and you say big clubs, I know what is a big club. One thing is a big club and another thing is a big football team that you know is not one of the best teams in the world.”“Manchester City buy the full backs for the price of the strikers, so when you speak about big football clubs, you are speaking about the history of the club,” he added.Despite City’s strikingly successful transfer policy allied to their financial muscle, Mourinho himself has still managed to spend £286 million ($383 million, 323 million euros) in his two summers in charge at Old Trafford — although he was adamant that was not enough.“It is not enough, is not enough,” he said. “And the price for the big clubs, the price for the big clubs is different from the other clubs.“So the big, historical clubs are normally punished in the market for that history, so the boys are doing what they can and they are doing fine.”last_img read more

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Give it to ‘Mike(y)’

first_img“Give it to Mikey. Hey Mikey, he likes it.” Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin has probably never had to swallow any loss harder than the 17-14 loss against the Baltimore Ravens Sunday since he has been sitting in the head coaches “chair” over at the Steelers “court.” Okay, I hear your tongues wagging so I will present to you enough proof in order to stop the ranting and raving. When Tomlin, a young and brash defensive coordinator, was hired away from the Minnesota Vikings, I was under the distinct impression he would come riding into Pittsburgh on the back of “Steely McBeam” wearing a Viking hat turned sideways and transform the Steelers into his team. For example, the Steelers ran a 3-4 defensive front; Tomlin coached a 4-3. That is just one instance of how his basic philosophy differed from the man who coached the Steelers before him, Bill Cowher. So I, being one of the “chosen few” who thought that he might have hired “his” own choices for defensive and offensive coordinator, was surprised when he opted, or was forced, to stick with the existing personnel already employed by the Steelers.This next part even mystifies “Aubrey the Great.” Tomlin recently signed a new contract that will carry him through 2014. His previous contract, signed in ’07, had one year and an option left. The five-year deal was worth an average of $2.5 million annually. However, Arizona Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt, who had two years left on his first deal, signed an entirely new five-year contract in February that reportedly will pay him an annual average of between $5.5 million and $6 million.Mike Tomlin has won a Super Bowl and coached his team to two division championships. Oh, I neglected to remind that Tomlin beat Whisenhunt in Super Bowl XLIII. So if the reported salaries are true, how does Whisenhunt rate more than twice the loot that Tomlin is scheduled to receive? Don’t ask me, I have no idea.I have been an occasional critic of Mike Tomlin but this has been one of his best coaching efforts to date. Tomlin has taken a team that was almost totally dysfunctional at least from a moral standpoint and has them poised to reach the post-season and beyond in spite of the “Big Ben” madness that has been going on.My hat goes off to Tomlin. No one knows what he has had to face when the lights were off. How do you discipline one of your star athletes who at times seems a bit out of control but who has been dubbed as your “franchise” player? How do you question and overrule the decisions of your defensive coordinator who is an NFL Hall-of-Fame player and coach?I was talking with a sportswriter friend of mine and we were both in agreement that when you go into the prevent defense mode when the clock is winding down and your squad is leading by less than seven points, the only thing that sort of play calling will prevent is your squad from being victorious. Steelers’ defensive back Bryant McFadden is not the main culprit in the loss to the Ravens. Not making Ravens QB Joe Flacco run for his life or throw to the “hot read” seems more like the reason for that last minute touchdown to me. If Flacco was in fear of decapitation he would not have had time to sit in the pocket and play “pitch and catch.” Please do not send in hate e-mails but the defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau cannot continue to muzzle the dogs when the burglar is sneaking in through the bedroom window. On offense, their future Hall-of-Fame receiver Hines Ward is now only feared as a blocker.The Steelers received a great young coach in the person of Mike Tomlin for a fraction of the price. They did not become a “billion dollar” franchise by allowing everyone in on their “secrets.” I grant you that Tomlin being paid less than Whisenhunt may seem grossly unfair but as they say in macroeconomics; buy for less, sell for more. In laymen’s terms business is business. Also, when you rake in reportedly over $2.5 million per year like Coach Tomlin does, it is safe to assume that you do not qualify for food stamps.Mike Tomlin is beginning to flourish as a head coach in the NFL. When the bobble heads tried to pin him down by asking in hushed tones when Roethlisberger would be back, I loved his response. He said, “We’ll see him tomorrow.” When he was badgered about it he repeated, “We’ll see him tomorrow.” Tomlin realizes that the word “team” means everyone contributes to victory and defeat.Steeler DB Ryan Clark seemed to say it best. “The thing we learned through all of this is that every man is a part of the team, but no man has to be the team. Ward said, “Ben definitely makes us a better ball club. We’ll be better as an offense when he comes back.” Okay Hines, but as we all know only time will tell.(Aubrey Bruce can be reached at: abruce@newpittsburghcourier.com or 412-583-6741.)last_img read more

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Read why Sachin Tendulkar is coming out of retirement to bat just one over

first_imgAdvertisement sox5aNBA Finals | Brooklyn Vs8dicWingsuit rodeo📽Sindre E3mn( IG: @_aubreyfisher @imraino ) 75qzvWould you ever consider trying this?😱thCan your students do this? 🌚8k55foRoller skating! Powered by Firework Master-blaster Sachin Tendulkar is finally coming out of retirement! The legendary Indian batsman is all set to face just a single over from Australian all-rounder Ellyse Perry in the Big Appeal charity game scheduled to be hosted at the Junction Oval in Melbourne on Sunday. According to a media release by cricket.com.au, Perry and her colleagues will take on a celebrity-laden team in a 10-overs-per-side game, during the innings break of Australian women’s must-win match against England in the ongoing triangular series. Advertisement Picture Credit: BBC SportOn Saturday afternoon, Perry, the 2019 Women’s Cricketer of the Year challenged Sachin through social media via a video saying,“Hey Sachin, it’s awesome to have you out here in Australia supporting the Bushfire match,”Advertisement “I know you’re coaching one of the teams but a few of us were sitting around last night chatting and we thought it would be absolutely amazing to see you potentially come out of retirement for one over in the innings break out here at Junction Oval. We thought it would be an awesome way to raise a bit more money for the Bushfire Appeal, which I know you’re already doing so much for.”“If you’re at all up for it, we’d love to have you out here — I know there’d be some girls very keen to field some balls that you hit. So let us know, and thanks again for everything!” she said.Advertisement Meanwhile, Tendulkar, who will coach Ricky Ponting’s side against Adam Gilchrist’s team in the Bushfire Cricket Bash, quickly replied while accepting the challenge,“Sounds great Ellyse, I would love to go out there and bat an over (much against the advice of my doctor due to my shoulder injury).“Hope we can generate enough money for this cause, and to get me out there in the middle” the 46-year-old said.The one-off charity game named as the Bushfire Cricket Bash will see cricketing legends (both male and female) and Australian Football League players Luke Hodge and Nick Riewoldt; take the field for this noble cause.The organizers previously pledged to donate the profit of the game to the Australian Red Cross Disaster Relief and Recovery Fund. You may also like:Yuvraj Singh issues plea for Australian bushfire crisis; over 480 million animals affectedSachin Tendulkar picks an Australian batsman when asked which current player is most similar to him! Advertisementlast_img read more