Senate OKs Leahy’s Amendment To Delay Border-Crossing Requirements

first_imgSenate OKs Leahys AmendmentTo Delay Border-Crossing Requirements,As Leahy Also Beats Back BidTo Curb 1st Responder Grants To Smaller States Leahy says the lack of sufficientcoordination on the Pass Card (or Passport Card) system betweenDHS and State, and between the Bush Administration and the Government ofCanada, spells trouble for the system.  This has been shaping up asa bureaucratic nightmare that could clog our borders while making us even lesssecure, said Leahy.  We need to prod these agencies to cometo grips with these problems and fix them beforehand, not afterward. In the home stretch to the bills Senate passage Thursday evening,Leahy successfully led the effort to beat back an attempt to weaken the fundingformula he authored for first-responder grants his all-state minimumformula that has brought more than $65 million to Vermont in the last fouryears.  The Leahy grant formula, which he included in the USA PATRIOT Act of2001, assures that Vermont and other states receive basic grants for their firstresponder agencies the police, fire and rescue departments that areresponsible for homeland security and emergency preparedness.  The bid toweaken the Leahy formula lost in a vote of 34 to 66. The certification requirements in LeahysWHTI amendment require the two departments to:1.     Ensure that thetechnology for any Passport Card meets certain security standards andthat DHS and State agree on that technology.2.     Share the technologywith the governments of Canada and Mexico.3.     Justify the fee setfor the Passport Card.  4.     Develop analternative procedure for groups of children traveling across the border underadult supervision with parental consent. WASHINGTON (Thursday, July 13) Vermont Thursday scored twosignificant policy wins engineered by Sen. Patrick Leahy as the U.S. Senate passedthe annual homeland security budget bill. Install all necessary technological infrastructure at the ports of entry to process the cards and train U.S. agents at the border crossings in all aspects of the new technology. 6.     Make the PassportCard available for international land and sea travel between the United States and Canada, Mexico, or the Caribbean and Bermuda.7.     Establish a unified implementationdate for all sea and land borders.  The bill also includes Leahys legislation to postpone andimprove implementation of the controversial Pass Card system for bordercrossings, which will require new identity cards and methods for crossing U.S. borders, including the Northern Border with Canada.  Leahy and Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) earlier had added tothe bill their amendment to delay implementation of the Pass Card system part of the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) — for 17 months, untilJune 1, 2009, and to require the Secretary of Homeland Security and theSecretary of State to certify to Congress that several standards are met beforethe program moves forward.  Leahy is a senior member of the Appropriations Committee and of itsHomeland Security Subcommittee, which handled the Senates work indrafting the annual appropriations bill for the Department of HomelandSecurity.  The bill now goes to conference with the House version of thebill, which does not include Leahys WHTI amendment but which does alsomaintain the Leahy formula for first-responder grants. # # # # #last_img read more

Wondering about diversity

first_imgRecently I watched the movie Wonder. It’s an inspiring and heart-warming movie, based on R.J. Palacio’s award-winning novel of the same name.It centers on Auggie Pullman, a young boy with a genetic facial difference. As an ordinary kid with an extraordinary appearance, Auggie meets both cruel bullies and good friends as he attends school for the first time.As I left the cinema, I found myself thinking that “Wonder” truly can happen when we choose kindness over cruelty; when we appreciate everyone for who they are, and embrace their differences.While the movie centers around a young boy’s school experience, the central tenets and message are just as applicable to the adult world, too. We are all different from some perspectives. We look different, we come from different regions or countries, with different cultures and beliefs. However, we all share common needs: we all want to be understood, respected, appreciated, and valued. continue reading » 7SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

Field Announced for Inaugural Southland Conference Home Run Derby

first_imgNo. 5 Joey Pinney, Central Arkansas – Sr. – IF – North Little Rock, Ark. Top-seeded batter Andrew Fregia of Sam Houston State and No. 3 David Fry from Northwestern State lead the field with 11 home runs each this season. That mark ties them for first in the Southland. Houston Baptist’s Spencer Halloran and Shane Selman of McNeese have each registered nine in 2018. The home run derby will take place at Constellation Field on Tuesday beginning with the batter representing No. 8 seed New Orleans at 6:30 p.m. CT, proceeding through in descending order to the final participant from No. 1 seed Sam Houston State. No. 4 Spencer Halloran, Houston Baptist – Sr. – OF – Sheffield, Iowa SUGAR LAND, Texas – The eight-player field for the inaugural Southland Conference Home Run Derby has been finalized, with each participating tournament team represented in the event scheduled for Tuesday night. No. 1 Andrew Fregia, Sam Houston State – Jr. – IF – Liberty, Texas The home run derby is open to the public and free to attend. No. 2 Trey Morgan, Southeastern Louisiana – So. – IF – St. Francisville, La.center_img No. 3 J.P. Lagreco, Northwestern State – Jr. – OF – Pearl River, La. No. 7 Kyle Knauth, Nicholls – Sr. – C/1B – Mandeville, La. Each batter will have four minutes on the clock starting with the first pitch and is allowed one 45-second timeout. If scores are even after all eight student-athletes have made their initial plate appearances, the tied players will enter a two-minute bonus round to decide the winner. No. 6 Shane Selman, McNeese – Jr. OF – Lake Charles, La. 2018 Southland Home Run Derby Participants No. 8 Pearce Howard, New Orleans – Fr. – OF – Silver Spring, Md.last_img read more