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TD Bank employees to volunteer at the Chittenden Emergency Food Shelf

first_imgTD Bank,Recently, the TD Charitable Foundation, the charitable giving arm of TD Bank donated $35,000, equivalent to 87,500 pounds of food or 70,000 meals for families in need, to support the Vermont Food Bank. The Vermont Foodbank has a network of 280 partners around the state’food shelves, meal sites, shelters, senior centers and after-school programs’that reach as many as 86,000 Vermonters in need of food assistance.On Thursday, February 17, 2011, local TD Bank employees will volunteer at the Chittenden Emergency Food Shelf, the Foodbank’s largest network partner, to assist with warehouse inventory, stock shelves, help clients complete paperwork and pick out their groceries.WHAT: Volunteers are a crucial part of every program at the Chittenden Emergency Food Shelf. The dedicated hearts and hands of the community help Chittenden’s staff complete the countless tasks that go into feeding more than 12,000 people every year. TD Bank employees will assist with warehouse inventory, stocking shelves, helping clients complete paperwork and pick out their groceries in an effort to help fight hunger in Vermont.WHEN: Thursday, February 17, 20111:30 p.m. ‘ 2:30 p.m.WHERE: Chittenden Emergency Food Shelf228 North Winooski AvenueBurlington, VT 05401(802) 658 – 7939last_img read more

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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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Director Lee Daniels discusses his career path

first_imgFollow Nathaniel on Twitter @Haas4Prez2036 For director Lee Daniels, making movies is more than just a job.Oscar buzz · Famed director Lee Daniels discussed his most recent film Lee Daniels’ The Butler at the Ronald Tutor Campus Center on Wednesday. – Uracha Chaiyapinunt | Daily Trojan“I live my life through my films,” Daniels told a crowd of students Wednesday night in Ronald Tutor Campus Center ballroom. “It’s very therapeutic for me. Every time I do a movie, a little part of me dies — I know that I am closer to death every time I finish a film.”After selling his health care business at the age of 21, Daniels became a millionaire overnight. He didn’t have to make movies, but he said he did because after an opportunity came up that he couldn’t refuse. Daniels worked in casting the music video for Prince’s song “Kiss,” and the artist was so impressed with his work that he asked him to cast the 1984 film Purple Rain, for which Prince’s album of the same name was a soundtrack.“Manipulating talent and the audience into make believe was intriguing to me,” Daniels told the Daily Trojan.Since, Daniel has gone on to direct films including Lee Daniels’ The Butler and Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire. Elena Dole, a freshman majoring in theatre, said Daniels’ directorial style and themes of race are effective at educating viewers in a way that is also beautiful to watch on screen.“It’s really interesting how much art can transform people’s opinions,” Dole said. “It’s incredible how much race can change the way perceive things and bring issues to light. The fact that he can bring to light these issues in a positive way and in a way that so many people can accept them and get involved is also a way that doesn’t make them uncomfortable.”Daniels told the Daily Trojan that his work has left him fundamentally optimistic about how much society has progressed in terms of accepting people who are different.“I think we’re at a great pace. There are those that complain that we want more, and of course, we always want more,” he said.Daniels, who is gay, said that new generations are growing up in a culture of acceptance.“We are coming to a place where [Daniels’ son] has two dads: one white and one black,” Daniels said. “His perception of homosexuality is normalcy, for a heterosexual kid. I think that that is beautiful.”The event was sponsored by the Black Student Assembly and the Political Student Assembly, who hoped to bring a fresh perspective on race issues to students.Justin Bogda, president of the PSA, said Daniels would do just that.“I thought he would be a great person to have a conversation about civil rights in this country and about how it has changed and evolved, because that’s what we’re having a conversation about at this school,” Bogda said.Daniels described growing up with an abusive father in an impoverished area of South Philadelphia. He never went to college, but said he got a fresh start when he sold his health care business and began a career in the film industry. Daniels also described spending the money he made on cars and drugs.“You are all blessed in this room,” he told the audience. “Everything I did I don’t want you to do.”Bogda said the conversation Daniels led was one that needs to happen more often at USC.“We’re behind the times with the conversations that we have about sexuality and difference,” he said. “The fact that he made a film that explored that journey in the United States, I thought it would be a really good idea to have that conversation here.”last_img read more