четверг, 15 марта 2012 г.

The illegal immigration debate is spreading: ; Neighboring Virginia is weighing options on illegals

MUCH of the focus on the illegal immigration issue has been onArizona. We've heard less about Virginia, but our commonwealthneighbor is also on the front lines of the debate.

This week, Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli issued alegal opinion attempting to clarify the authority of Virginia policeto investigate the immigration status of people stopped or arrested.

Cuccinelli found that police can ask about immigration status.

"So long as officers have the requisite level of suspicion tobelieve that a violation of the law has occurred, the officers maydetain and briefly question a person they suspect has committed afederal crime," Cuccinelli …

Democrats Push Open Government Agenda

WASHINGTON - Pushing back at what they say has been one of the most secretive administrations in decades, congressional Democrats are marking "Sunshine Week" with bills to increase public access to government activities and protect whistle-blowers who expose wrongdoing.

The House on Wednesday was to vote on four open government bills, including one aimed at government foot-dragging in answering the millions of Freedom of Information Act requests it receives every year.

Another, sparking a veto threat from the White House, would reverse a Bush administration decision making it easier for presidents to withhold their own records from public scrutiny.

Senate …

Pacers could move if financial losses continue

Indiana Pacers co-owner Herb Simon passionately says he doesn't want to see the city without his franchise.

His wishes and the bottom line appear to be at odds.

Among the key issues for the struggling franchise is its operation of Conseco Fieldhouse. The building where the team plays its home games belongs to the Indianapolis Capital Improvement Board, and the Pacers have been paying its $15 million operating cost. Pat Early, the board's vice president, said the Pacers have made it clear that they no longer can pay that amount, in part because they could lose $30 million this season.

Early said the Pacers haven't threatened to leave, but the team …

среда, 14 марта 2012 г.

Set-aside ordinance aids local businesses

Chicago's new minority set-aside ordinance advances and improveson the 1985 executive order of the late Mayor Harold Washington.Pushed to passage in the City Council by Mayor Daley this week, theordinance ensures that set-asides will continue to apply on up to 30percent of all city contracts.

What's new about it is that it moves minority and women-ownedcompanies in the Chicago area into the front ranks to compete forcity contracts.

For the first time they will be able to compete directly andagainst one another for $69.3 million a year in prime contracts,about 11 percent of the city's annual purchases. The rest of theset-asides would be for subcontractors. The …

SHOPPING FOR SPACE

Bargain buys, personable hosts and disciplined growth are part of the formula that led home-shopping giant QVC Inc. to nearly $4 billion in revenues last year, according to consumer analysts. That growth has led the West Chester-based company to try to expand its warehouse in Lancaster County for the second time in five years.

If local planning and township officials approve, the company will develop an additional 30 acres of protected farmland. It then would hire an additional 400 people at the warehouse that employs 1,200.

The cable channel's growth has made it the second-largest television network behind NBC, according to estimates compiled last November by Broadcasting …

Canada Denies Ecstasy Dumping Claim

Canadian police on Sunday disputed claims by the U.S. drug czar that organized crime rings in Canada are dumping dangerous, methamphetamine-laced ecstasy into the United States.

John Walters, who heads the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, recently released a statement warning public health and safety officials of the dangers posed by turbo-charged ecstasy from Canada.

The head of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police's national drug branch said Sunday he did not know why Walters would issue the statement without checking facts with Canadian officials.

"I shook my head when I read the release that they put out," said RCMP …

Wrigley sees smallest crowd since ’02

April always brings cold temperatures to Wrigley Field, but it hasn't kept fans from coming to games for a number of years.

At least not until Monday.

If the chilly and overcast conditions were part of the reason for the smallest crowd at Wrigley since 2002, the Cubs can be hopeful of better days ahead.

If modest expectations for the Cubs are to blame, the team knows it has work to do.

''It's a little strange seeing empty seats, but it's our job to change that,'' reliever Kerry Wood said of the announced crowd of 26,292.

The Cubs drew only 20,503 on Sept. 11, 2002, against the Montreal Expos. It was the last time attendance was below 27,000 till …