среда, 29 февраля 2012 г.

QLD: Road accidents claim three lives


AAP General News (Australia)
02-23-2008
QLD: Road accidents claim three lives

Three people are dead after separate accidents in Queensland today.

A 67-year-old man died in hospital after a five-car collision on the Gold Coast ..

while a motorcyclist and a pillion passenger were killed in the Sunshine Coast …

QLD:Woman dies after being hit by ute


AAP General News (Australia)
04-29-2011
QLD:Woman dies after being hit by ute

BRISBANE, April 29 AAP - A woman has died after being struck by a car in the central
Queensland city of Rockhampton.

The local woman, aged 49, was crossing Yaamba Road near the Carlton Street intersection
in North Rockhampton when she was hit by a utility on Thursday night.

She was taken to Rockhampton Base Hospital where she died from her injuries.

AAP peb/jel

KEYWORD: TOLL QLD

� 2011 AAP Information Services Pty Limited (AAP) or its Licensors.

QLD:CSG protester's case adjourned


AAP General News (Australia)
08-25-2011
QLD:CSG protester's case adjourned

BRISBANE, Aug 25 AAP - A court case involving veteran conservationist Drew Hutton,
who was arrested during a blockade against coal seam gas (CSG), has been adjourned.

The Lock the Gate Alliance president was charged in March with obstructing a CSG company
without reasonable excuse.

He was arrested south of Chinchilla on the western downs, and charged under the Petroleum
and Gas Act with an offence that carries a potential $50,000 fine.

The protest was part of a month-long campaign by local farmers and environmentalists
to stop Queensland Gas Company building a 16km pipeline to take gas from wells on the
Tara Estate to a nearby processing plant.

The case in Chinchilla Magistrates Court on Thursday was adjourned to December 7.

Mr Hutton considers it a test case to determine if there is a right for all landholders
to stop CSG companies entering their properties.

"I want to win this case, and I want to do it reasonably quickly so that all landholders
can lock their gates with confidence," he told AAP after the hearing.

A Queensland Gas Company spokesman declined to comment while the case was before the courts.

AAP gd/sn/de

KEYWORD: CSG WRAP

� 2011 AAP Information Services Pty Limited (AAP) or its Licensors.

FED:'No progress' on Fiji democracy: Marles


AAP General News (Australia)
02-14-2011
FED:'No progress' on Fiji democracy: Marles

The federal government has voiced fresh concerns over the Fijian military regime's
failure to move the country back toward democracy.

Parliamentary Secretary for Pacific Island Affairs RICHARD MARLES has joined Pacific
Islands foreign ministers in Vanuatu today to discuss Fiji's future.

Fijian Foreign Minister RATU INOKE KUBUABOLA has used the meeting to tout his government's
vision for "A Better Fiji".

But Mr MARLES says there's been little evidence of real progress.

Fijian interim Prime Minister Commodore FRANK BAINIMARAMA seized power in a bloodless
coup in 2006 .. and as pledged to hold elections in 2014.

But Australia wants them sooner.

AAP RTV ag/tm

KEYWORD: FIJI AUST (CANBERRA)

� 2011 AAP Information Services Pty Limited (AAP) or its Licensors.

FED:Economy in a position of strength:Swan


AAP General News (Australia)
08-31-2010
FED:Economy in a position of strength:Swan

Treasurer WAYNE SWAN says a range of upbeat data released today shows that the Australian
economy is in a strong position .. despite increased global uncertainty.

The data shows a sharp reduction in the current account deficit in the June quarter
due to a surge in exports .. which will add to growth in tomorrow's national accounts.

More up to date data for retail spending and building approvals for July are also stronger
than expected.

Mr SWAN says this data shows that despite increased global uncertainty .. Australia's
economy is in a strong position and continues to benefit from the sound economic management
that saw Australia fight off recession.

AAP RTV cb/af

KEYWORD: ECONOMY SWAN (CANBERRA)

� 2010 AAP Information Services Pty Limited (AAP) or its Licensors.

Fed: Customs to launch new high-tech helicopter


AAP General News (Australia)
04-23-2010
Fed: Customs to launch new high-tech helicopter

BRISBANE, April 23 AAP - Australian Customs is to launch a newly outfitted, ultra-modern
helicopter to patrol Australia's far north.

Based at Horn Island in Torres Strait, the Bell 412 will carry out surveillance and
search and rescue activities, as well as conduct medical evacuations.

The chopper will be fitted with technology called the Surveillance Information Management
system, which will allow it to communicate via broadband while airborne - a first for
Australian helicopters.

Australian Helicopters chief executive Neil Shea said the system would greatly improve
communications and surveillance in Torres Strait.

"This technology will allow crews on patrol to transmit live location, surveillance
images and communications information back to the Australian Customs and Border Protection
Service headquarters in Canberra and receive informed instructions in real time," Mr Shea
said.

AAP pjo/jhp

KEYWORD: CHOPPER (PIX AVAILABLE)

� 2010 AAP Information Services Pty Limited (AAP) or its Licensors.

NSW: Three cruise ships to enter Sydney Harbour


AAP General News (Australia)
12-10-2009
NSW: Three cruise ships to enter Sydney Harbour

Three passenger cruise ships will arrive in Sydney Harbour this morning .. adding over
260-thousand tonnes of steel and luxury to the foreshore.

The Diamond Princess .. Sun Princess and P&O's latest superliner .. the Pacific Jewel
.. are scheduled to pass through Sydney heads between 6 and 7am (AEDT).

A fire tug water display will accompany the Pacific Jewel into the harbour .. which
will mark her maiden visit to Australia and first visit to Sydney.

The vessels are among 118 passenger cruise ships expected in Sydney's harbour this cruise season.

New South Wales Ports Minister PAUL MCLEAY says Sydney is becoming increasingly popular
for vessels.

AAP RTV vpm/wz/af

KEYWORD: SHIPS (SYDNEY)

2009 AAP Information Services Pty Limited (AAP) or its Licensors.

Fed: Libs seat win looks certain in Tasmania's Upper House


AAP General News (Australia)
08-01-2009
Fed: Libs seat win looks certain in Tasmania's Upper House

By Paul Carter

HOBART, Aug 1 AAP - The Liberals have almost certainly won a Tasmanian Upper House
seat from Labor in a by-election for the Hobart division of Pembroke.

Liberal candidate Vanessa Goodwin was on course to poll about 40 per cent of the primary
vote on Saturday, according to electoral commission figures.

Honey Bacon, the widow of former Tasmanian premier Jim Bacon, is among seven independents
headed for defeat in the contest.

Allison Ritchie, niece of Labor senator Carol Brown, quit Pembroke abruptly in June
following revelations she had employed several members of her family in contravention
of Legislative Council rules and had retained staff beyond her entitlement after she resigned
from her minister's post in November 2008.

The state's auditor-general is investigating the appointment of Ms Ritchie's mother,
those of two sisters and a brother-in-law to her office.

Goodwin is expected to claim victory on Sunday.

AAP pc/ht

KEYWORD: PEMBROKE

2009 AAP Information Services Pty Limited (AAP) or its Licensors.

Fed: What's to come on the box in 2009


AAP General News (Australia)
12-30-2008
Fed: What's to come on the box in 2009

By Katherine Field, National Entertainment Writer

SYDNEY, AAP - Television entertainment in 2009 will be all about appealing to the emotions
of Australians.

There are a raft of new shows about the trials and journeys of everyday Australians,
whether they're in a cooking contest or training to become a police officer.

It'll be about reuniting families, and telling the stories of heroes and survivors.

Seven will do it through Find My Family and Sonia Kruger's 10 Years Younger in 10 Days.

Nine has Local Heroes, Random Acts of Kindness and Missing Pieces.

Network Ten will be banking on Masterchef Australia, a program based on a British show
to find the country's best amateur cook. It's the replacement for reality show Big Brother
which was axed in 2008.

Ten will also air a show called Recruits going behind the scenes of youngsters training
to become police officers.

Two of the most anticipated series of 2008 are back with second series' - Packed To
The Rafters and Underbelly.

Other old favourites like So You Think You Can Dance and the Biggest Loser are also back.

In the comedy stakes, viewers can look forward to the the Chaser boys returning to
the ABC, and Thank God You're Here on its new home at Seven.

Seven will also premiere its new current affairs show Sunday night which will go up
against the popular long-running 60 Minutes on Nine.

Australian Drama

Packed To The Rafters series 2

The hit family drama Packed To The Rafters will be back for a second anticipated series
next year. All cast members have signed up again including veterans Rebecca Gibney, Erik
Thomson and Michael Caton. The series follows a married couple, Gibney and Thomson, who
find themselves entwined in the lives of their three adult children.

Second Series of Underbelly

Underbelly: A Tale of Two Cities is one of the most anticipated shows of the year.

The second series is a prequel to the first hit series which told the stories of Melbourne's
infamous gangland wars.

Next year's series will follow the booming illegal heroin and marijuana trade of the
1970s and 1980s in Sydney and Melbourne.

It'll be based around the lives of two infamous drug lords, including Aussie Bob Trimbole,
a marijuana and heroin dealer, played by Roy Billing.

Trimbole was one of the country's most notorious gangsters and is believed to have
organised the murder of Liberal politician and anti-drugs campaigner Donald Mackay in
Griffith in 1977.

The other main character, to be played by Matthew Newton, will be Terry "Mr Asia" Clark,
the head of a New Zealand drug syndicate, who was responsible for many deaths.

Competition reality

Masterchef Australia, Network Ten

Ten has high hopes for this reality TV series which will replace the long running axed
Big Brother from May.

Based on a British format, it will see amateur cooks compete to be crowned the country's
`masterchef'.

The program will air six nights a week.

10 Years Younger in 10 Days, Seven Network

Hosted by Sonia Kruger, this show will aim to transform the appearance of couples.

It'll look to update their grooming, fashion and beauty habits.

Project NEXT, ABC

Produced by respected talk show host Andrew Denton. The 10-part series will try to
find the next bunch of original thinkers, movers, mischief makers and cage-rattlers.

The program will then get them together to create an irreverent program about "serious things".

Australia's Hidden Genius, Network Ten

The program will give smart ordinary Australians the chance to turn around their lives.

Observational reality

Recruits, Network Ten

This program will go behind the scenes as young men and women train to become cops
at the NSW Police College in Goulburn.

Ten has gained rare access into the college for this show to document the recruits' travels.

It'll also follow fresh graduates on their first days on the beat.

Bondi Vet, Network Ten

Going behind the scenes of celebrity vet Dr Chris Brown's practice in Australia's famous
beachside suburb of Bondi. It'll show him saving animals and blend in human interest stories.

Guerrilla Gardeners, Network Ten

Six young upbeat gardeners "with attitude" will make over some barren and concrete-filled
spaces in Australian cities. Being touted as a lot more entertaining than your average
gardening show.

Undercover Boss, Network Ten

Bosses will go undercover working at the bottom levels of their companies. It will
see them cleaning toilets, waiting and doing late shifts. During their undercover time
they will seek to find a hard worker, a hidden talent.

Triple Zero Heroes, Seven Network

It will use original 000 emergency calls along with reconstructions and interviews
to retell stories.

Local Heroes, Nine Network

This show will reunite and tell the stories of heroic Australians and the survivors they rescued.

Random Acts of Kindness, Nine Network

Karl Stefanovic, Scott Cam and Simmone Jade Mackinnon will host this feel-good show
which will try to make dreams come true for "deserving" Australians.

Australian Ladette To Lady, Nine Network

The Australian version of this British makeover show, will see a bunch of rough young
Australian women put through their paces at the UK's finest finishing school Eggleston
Hall. The British version has been a ratings winner for Nine.

Missing Pieces, Nine Network

In much the same vein as rival Seven's Find My Family. this show will feature a team
of experts tracking down missing family members.

Game shows:

Talkin' 'bout my Generation, Network Ten

This half-hour comedy panel show will pit generation against generation as they talk
about a range of issues.

Comedy

The Chaser's War On Everything, ABC

After a year off the screens, the Chaser boys - Andrew Hansen, Chas Licciardello, Julian
Morrow, Craig Reucassel and Chris Taylor - will return for more laughs. They'll have a
new prime minister to poke fun at this time in the form of Kevin Rudd. Last time the boys
were on the screens they created a storm for getting past security checks in a fake motorcade
during APEC in Sydney.

Thank God You're Here, Seven Network

The comedy improvisation show is leaving Network Ten to air on its new home at Channel
Seven. Shane Bourne will remain as host of the show, which features celebrities walking
into an unknown situation and having to improvise. Seven has said they'll tweak the show,
but no word yet on what that will entail.

John Safran's Race Relations, ABC

Controversial comedian Safran returns to the ABC for his globe trotting adventure.

The eight part series will see Safran addressing controversial topics in his no-holds
barred approach.

Entertainment

Toasted & Roasted, Nine Network

Australian celebrities toasting and roasting some big Australian names.

When I Grow Up, Nine Network

Hosted by Bert Newtown, the show will feature kids having fun.

News/Current Affairs:

Sunday Night - Seven Network

Seven's new current affairs program will go head to head with the popular 60 Minutes
on Nine. Rumoured to be hosted by Natalie Barr. Reporters are yet to be announced.

Digital TV

From next year there will be 15 digital channels available.

Ten's 24-hour sports channel will be among them. It'll launch in the early part of next year.

Old Favourites returning.

Among them - Sea Patrol, City Homicide, So You Think You Can Dance Australia, Dancing
With the Stars, Australian Idol, Australia's Funniest Home Videos and US series such as
Two And A Half Men.

AAP kaf/ldj

KEYWORD: YEARENDER TV09

2008 AAP Information Services Pty Limited (AAP) or its Licensors.

Fed: DFAT says man lost in jungle is in a stable condition


AAP General News (Australia)
08-20-2008
Fed: DFAT says man lost in jungle is in a stable condition

A 40-year-old Australian man is recovering in a Bangkok hospital after being lost in
a Laos jungle for 11 days.

He was found on Sunday after becoming lost while attempting a well-known waterfall trek.

Foreign Affairs says the Queenslander is in a stable condition.

News Limited says he's been volunteering as a teacher in Laos and is experienced in
trekking through jungles.

AAP RTV sld/rl/crh/bart

KEYWORD: LAOS AUST (CANBERRA)

2008 AAP Information Services Pty Limited (AAP) or its Licensors.

HighLights of the AAP National Wire at 19:15, April 13=2


AAP General News (Australia)
04-13-2008
HighLights of the AAP National Wire at 19:15, April 13=2

DARWIN - East Timor's President Jose Ramos-Horta says he is not concerned for his safety
when he returns home next week because God and his countrymen are on his side. (Timor
Horta)

SYDNEY - First it ran a boob job competition, now a men's magazine is set to cause
outrage again by giving its readers the chance to score a divorce. (Divorce - embargoed
until 0001 (AEST) Monday)

CANBERRA - The nation's longest surviving heart-lung transplant recipient, grandmother
Shirley Larsen, has urged people to talk to their families about organ donation, as 1,800
Australians wait for transplants. (Organ)

SYDNEY - A new financial rescue package is aimed at helping struggling families cope
with the rising cost of living, NSW Premier Morris Iemma says. (Household Nightlead)

SYDNEY - Doctors will be forced to report their colleagues for serious misconduct under
changes to NSW laws prompted by the case of a former gynaecologist accused of mutilating
female patients. (Doctors Nightlead)

SYDNEY - Wollongong MP Noreen Hay has again denied any wrongdoing in the wake of the
corruption inquiry into the NSW south coast council. (Planner, to come - embargoed to
0001 AEST Monday)

SYDNEY - A 31-year old Doonside man has faced court charged with attempted murder following
a shooting incident in Sydney's west. (Matthews)

MELBOURNE - First there was Kevin07, now Victorian Liberals are preparing for 2010
with a slogan of their own: 20Ted. (Baillieu)

MELBOURNE - Victorian teachers have welcomed a coalition promise to pay them more if
it wins the next state election. (Teachers Vic Nightlead)

MELBOURNE - A teenage boy suffered a broken jaw, smashed teeth and fractures to his
legs and wrists when he fell through a fibre glass roof while out graffitiing property
in Melbourne. (Graffiti)

BRISBANE - Every Queensland firefighter will be tested for brain cancer amid fears
the profession could result in a higher incidence of the disease. (Cluster Nightlead)

BRISBANE - Queensland Premier Anna Bligh has ruled out any review of her state's euthanasia
laws despite popular former Brisbane lord mayor Clem Jones leaving $5 million in his will
to support the controversial practice. (Euthanasia Nightlead)

BRISBANE - A forum held in Brisbane today for 96 Queensland delegates to next weekend's
2020 summit was not an exercise in parochialism, Queensland Premier Anna Bligh says. (Summit
Qld)

BRISBANE - Queensland Premier Anna Bligh says her first trade mission to Asia was an
eye-opening experience. (Trade Bligh)

PERTH - A sick humpback whale trapped in a private harbour north of Perth has died.

(Whale Nightlead)

DARWIN - Police have identified a man found dead in a Northern Territory river yesterday. (Body)

AAP nf

KEYWORD: HIGHLIGHTS NATIONAL UPDATED 2 SYDNEY

2008 AAP Information Services Pty Limited (AAP) or its Licensors.

Qld: Police agree to new pay deal


AAP General News (Australia)
12-10-2007
Qld: Police agree to new pay deal

BRISBANE, Dec 10 AAP - Queensland police officers have accepted a new pay deal with
the state government following a lengthy union campaign.

Queensland Police Union acting president Denis Fitzpatrick said 88.6 per cent of its
members had voted to accept the collective agreement, which would deliver a minimum five
per cent a year pay rise.

He said the result was a win for all the officers who had dedicated their time to pressuring
the state government into offering them a better deal.

"They turned up for public meetings, marched on parliament and some even helped us
make the 'mad world' television mini documentary," Mr Fitzpatrick said.

"A union is only as strong as its membership and it was the unity of the members of
this union that eventually broke the deadlock with government.

"Our union not only negotiated with the government, but ran the largest media campaign
ever undertaken by an individual union in pursuit of a fair enterprise bargaining deal."

During the campaign, the union had argued Queensland police were being lured interstate
because of fairer pay conditions elsewhere.

The new deal sets a minimum five per cent a year increase for all police with additional
increases for those who work nightshifts, qualify for other allowances or are officers
in charge.

Officers will receive back pay to July 1.

AAP jmm/pjo/cjh/bwl

KEYWORD: POLICE QLD

2007 AAP Information Services Pty Limited (AAP) or its Licensors.

Vic: Pokies venues rort community benefit rule: report


AAP General News (Australia)
04-27-2007
Vic: Pokies venues rort community benefit rule: report

Victorian pokies venues are ploughing hundreds of millions of dollars of revenue intended
for community purposes into their own expenses.

A Monash University study has found less than three per cent of the 376 million dollars
to have been handed over under gambling laws for community benefit actually went to charities
and community groups.

The study found 236 million of the community benefit statements submitted by pubs and
clubs were wages paid to employees .. while almost 50 million dollars was used to cover
costs including utilities bills and insurance.

Fairfax newspapers report another 53.5 million was spent by pokies venues on renovations
.. and construction of outdoor areas to accommodate coming indoor smoking bans.

Under state tax rules, pokies venues must prove they direct 8.3 per cent of poker machine
revenue for community benefit or risk losing lucrative tax breaks.

Fairfax says anger among community and charity groups prompted the Victorian government
yesterday to announce a review of the community benefit scheme.



Meanwhile .. News Limited has revealed gamblers have punted and lost nine billion dollars
.. or 2.46 million a day .. at Crown Casino since its lavish Yarra-side gambling, retail
and entertainment complex opened at Southbank a decade ago next month.

AAP RTV jrd/psm/

KEYWORD: GAMBLING VIC (MELBOURNE)

2007 AAP Information Services Pty Limited (AAP) or its Licensors.

NSW: Eight rescued as Sydney-Hobart yacht sinks


AAP General News (Australia)
12-27-2006
NSW: Eight rescued as Sydney-Hobart yacht sinks

By Paul Mulvey and Kate Corbett

SYDNEY, Dec 27 AAP - The devastated crew of stricken Sydney to Hobart yacht Koomooloo
has been rescued, but the 38-year-old timber boat is expected to sink.

Two helicopters hovered as the eight crew members were transferred by life raft to
fellow race competitor Adventure after issuing a mayday call at around 9am (AEDT) today.

The 1968 Sydney-Hobart race winner was leading the race on handicap when it fell heavily
off a wave and started taking on water about 60 nautical miles (100km) off the NSW far
south coast.

The crew will stay on board Adventure, which changed course to answer the call, and
will wait for a police launch which is due to pick them up later this afternoon and take
them to Eden.

"We did everything we could to keep it afloat. The last sighting it was afloat, but
we expect it to sink," skipper Mike Freebairn said by phone to race organisers, the Cruising
Yacht Club of Australia, in Sydney.

"We're all pretty devastated. Standing on the boat looking around, it's been pretty
hard to believe."

Freebairn said the crew ripped up almost every floorboard in the yacht but could not
find the leak.

He said winds approaching 28 knots were not uncomfortable, but they had whipped up
seas of up to six metres.

Freebairn said, contrary to reports from race control, the sea cocks had not been opened
on Koomooloo, which would sink the boat, but he expected it to be lost in deep seas off
the continental shelf.

CYC of Australia Commodore Geoff Lavis told Sky News that the weather conditions were
quite mild at the time of the incident.

"Interestingly enough, with the conditions that have been here so far it has been very
much a small boat race, in terms of the overall handicap position and in fact Ray White
Koomooloo was leading on handicap before they started taking on water."

"It's tragic, she's a beautiful old boat," Lavis said.

"It's off the continental shelf there, that's a long way down."

Lavis said conditions were nowhere near as bad as the tragic 1998 race in which six
yachtsmen were killed as five boats sank.

"It's just a tough race, they're certainly not '98 conditions," Lavis said.

"We've got the situation under control as much as we can. We have emergency management
plans, we have procedures to follow in these situations.

"It's not pleasant but it's under control from our point of view.

"It was just an unfortunate thing ... it's one of those things in sailing where one
little fitting can let go and the wick comes down very, very quickly," he said.

Eight yachts have now pulled out of the race with maxis ABN Amro and Maximus the biggest
casualties after losing their masts in big seas while leading the race.

The other boats to withdraw are Living Doll, Sailors with Disabilities, Mr Kite, Endorfin
and Chutzpah.

The maxi yacht Maximus was forced to withdraw at about 3am (AEDT) when its mast crashed
to the deck, injuring six crew. Fellow maxi ABN Amro One also retired after being dismasted
overnight.

"It must have been the forestay fitting at the top of the mast that let go because
the mast just came straight down the boat, down the cockpit, out the back, boom and all,"

sailor Ian Treleaven said as he was being treated in Batemans Bay.

Sydney Morning Herald photographer Dallas Kilponen, who was on board the Maximus, said
the experience had been terrifying.

"It's a huge mast so it was pretty full-on, there's blood all through the cockpit and
just bits of carbon fibre everywhere," Kilponen told the Herald online.

"Everyone's a bit shocked, a bit shattered. At the end of the day we're bloody lucky
nobody was seriously injured or even killed."

Mr Treleaven was taken to shore on a police speed boat this morning along with Martin
Hannon, both with minor injuries.

Three of their fellow crew were taken by helicopter to Moruya Hospital with more serious
injuries.

Glen Attrill from Sydney has lower back injuries, George Hendy from New Zealand has
head and rib injuries, and David Mundy has a broken leg, as well as chest, rib and pelvis
injuries.

Fellow sailor Bill Buckley suffered only minor injuries and decided to stay on board
with the 17 other crew as they try to bring the large yacht into port.

However that was proving difficult.

"She has sustained rudder damage and she has part of the sail wrapped around her propeller
shaft so they feel that it is only a matter of time before the engine will fail," Cruising
Yacht Club of Australia Commodore Geoff Lavis said.

AAP pmu/was/ks/jm/de

KEYWORD: SYDHOB KOOMOOLOO SECOND LEAD

2006 AAP Information Services Pty Limited (AAP) or its Licensors.

Vic: Clamped - Vic fine defaulters in crackdown


AAP General News (Australia)
08-18-2006
Vic: Clamped - Vic fine defaulters in crackdown

MELBOURNE, Aug 18 AAP - Authorities have started clamping the car wheels of serious
fine defaulters across Victoria under tough new powers handed to the state's Sheriff's
Office.

Officers armed with registration details swooped on a car park at the Queen Victoria
market in North Melbourne today, clamping the wheels on five cars and issuing 25 warning
notices.

The operation signalled the introduction of new powers which allow the Sheriff's Office
to clamp the wheels of vehicles belonging to people with unpaid fines for traffic offences,
parking tickets, public transport fare evasion and other offences.

There are currently up to 430,000 fine defaulters in Victoria.

A Department of Justice spokeswoman said one fine defaulter who's car was clamped owed
$49,000 in unpaid fines.

"They identified vehicles that had (in total) $140,000 in outstanding fines," the spokeswoman
said.

"One car alone had fines worth $49,000," she said.

"They clamped five cars in total in one location, in one car park at the Queen Victoria market."

Registration details were used to check a driver's fine status.

The spokeswoman said there was one case where a car that was clamped had changed ownership
recently and the transfer papers had not gone through.

"Somebody hadn't transferred the ownership and it was actually a previous owner who
had the fines."

She said the clamps were removed once the paperwork was faxed through to officers on site.

The spokeswoman said the clamps on the other four cars were only removed when the owners
agreed to pay the fine either in full or by instalment.

"If they are the owner then they make arrangements to pay ... and then the wheel clamp
is taken off and they can drive away," she said.

"But if they don't keep the instalments going then the warrants come out again."

Premier Steve Bracks said the tough approach had already worked in other jurisdictions.

"We've had experience in other areas ... in South Australia and overseas jurisdictions,
where being tough on those who are persistently not paying their fines (has worked),"

Mr Bracks told reporters today.

"We believe those penalties will have an impact," he said.

The Bracks government was confident the measure would help claw back more than $700
million owed to it in unpaid court and police fines.

Opposition police spokesman Kim Wells said he supported the tough new approach to fine
defaulters.

"You have to send a clear message," Mr Wells said.

"What's the point of having fines if they are not going to be enforced," he said.

"One fine, two fines, people getting 20 and 30 fines.

"Of course in the end they have to be wheel clamped, otherwise the whole system will
break down and people won't pay their fines.

"You have to do what you have to do at the end of the day to enforce the law."

AAP sam/dk/sp

KEYWORD: FINES NIGHTLEAD

) 2006 AAP Information Services Pty Limited (AAP) or its Licensors.

воскресенье, 19 февраля 2012 г.

Living legends.(Trash)


Holmes, one-time suitor of Andy Roy (see page 170), has now incorporated Lincoln Ueda into the blend at Hosoiv. Good work, Lincoln! Mare and the Casuals and Tommy G's Get Rad 6 performed for a much-attended San Francisco Food Bank benefit at the esteemed Hemlock Tavern on Polk Street. There are rumors of a live audio documentation of the proceedings that might eventually take its presence further--assuming the soundperson on duty that night was able to figure out how to engage the phantom power.
The New York Times, that sanctimonious alleged pinnacle of respectable journalism, recently "broke" the story of legions of bucket brigades foraging off the thousands of abandoned pools that have been created by the economic recession. Certainly this could be interpreted as international news, but isn't it revealing that such stories of urban repurposing of resources have been documented in the skateboarding press for four decades? In particular, the New York Pulitzer Prize seekers plundered the recent efforts of Addikt skateboards and others like Skateandannoy.com. At least old skate news is becoming the topic of the future. For the record: One out of 194 US households were in some state of foreclosure in 2008. Trouble in paradise equals recreational potential.

SPAC'S ORCHESTRA SEASON LOADED.(Capital Region)


The fabulous Philadelphians will be bringing a lot of star power to the 2009 residency at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center in Saratoga Springs, with such acclaimed soloists as Yo-Yo Ma, Joshua Bell, Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Gil Shahm, Andre Watts and Emanual Ax -- and Alec Baldwin?
Yes, that Alex Baldwin of movie and television fame, most recently the NBC show "30 Rock." Baldwin will be making his first appearance at SPAC for the Aug. 5 season opener, in which he will narrate Aaron Copland's 1942 work "Lincoln's Portrait." 2009 also marks the 200th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's birth.
In addition to the acclaimed guests listed above, a highlight of the season also is a first for SPAC: three pop performances with three different coductors -- Jeff Tyzik (Aug. 7), Erich Kunzel (Aug. 14) and Marvin Hamlisch (Aug. 20).
A new feature this season is a collaboration between the Hyde Collection, in Glens Falls, and SPAC, for an Aug. 15 performance called "An Evening with Degas."
The performance of works by Bizet, Chabrier, Debussy, Sarasate, Massenet, Saint-Sa ns and Offenbach will be accompanied by images of Degas' famous works projected on SPAC's cinema screens.
Meanwhile, the Hyde will be showing a special exhibit, "Degas & Music" from July 12 to Oct. 18, which will feature Degas' paintings of musician friends, cabaret singers and ballet dancers. Other special events include Thursday Date Nights (Aug. 6, 13, 20) that feature upscale beer and wine tastings; and Friday Family Nights (Aug. 7, 14, 21) with free Stewart's ice cream, magicians and face painting.
In a move sure to please budget-conscious music-lovers, SPAC is keeping this year's tickets at last year's prices. Tickets begin at $18 for lawn admission and $31 for inside seating. The "Free Children on the Lawn" promotion gives children 12 and younger free lawn admission.

пятница, 17 февраля 2012 г.

SPAC HOLDS TRUE TO MISSION.(Main)


Ever since the New York City Ballet christened the Saratoga Performing Arts Center amphitheater in July 1966 with a performance of George Balanchine's "A Midsummer Night's Dream," the core mission of the center has remained unchanged.
SPAC, that pastoral venue in the middle of a state park, was created to promote and educate people about the performing arts, especially classical arts such as ballet, orchestra and opera.
The mission hasn't changed, but the climate for classical arts appreciation has, with a shrinking and graying audience. That factor -- and the faltering economy -- has led to a malaise felt by arts organizations nationwide.
Still, SPAC perseveres. While SPAC is by no means flush, it managed to practically break even last year, putting it far above the panic mode and hemorrhaging many arts organizations have experienced in recent years. Administrators and program coordinators have focused on avoiding "mission creep," the term for when a nonprofit has strayed from its mission.
"You have to have a balance between what you need to be and what you need to stay," said Marcia White, president and executive director of SPAC. "It's always been about world-quality art and about bringing families good value."
Since the 1960s, SPAC has been the summer home of the New York City Ballet and the Philadelphia Orchestra. This summer, the ballet will perform for two weeks, down from the usual three, because SPAC and City Ballet lost a combined $2.3 million on last year's summer residency. The move to a two-week program is expected to reduce that deficit by approximately $800,000.
"If you don't change, change happens to you. You have to be ahead of the curve, so that's what we're doing," White said. "The quality of the programming we have this summer is incredible."
It is a season punctuated by big names and familiar pieces. Cellist Yo-Yo Ma will headline SPAC's Saratoga Chamber Music Festival; Alec Baldwin will narrate the Philadelphia Orchestra's performance of Aaron Copland's 1942 work "Lincoln's Portrait"; and there will be three performances of the full-length ballet "Coppelia," which was partially commissioned by SPAC in 1974 and premiered on the main stage.
With ticket sales covering about 45 percent of programming costs, SPAC is dependent on its members and donors to keep the organization afloat.
"There's a lot of public ignorance about how SPAC is supported. There is a public perception that if you go to a Dave Matthews concert, you are supporting SPAC, but that's not the case," said Sally King, a member of the SPAC Action Council. "If the ballet and orchestra are to survive, it has to be supported through its membership."
According to White, membership is at about 3,000, down slightly from previous years.
"In this economy, people are often holding onto revenue and ordering tickets later and buying memberships later," she said. "That's why we announced this season that tickets will be available online electronically."
So this year, SPAC has tried all sorts of new avenues to draw in crowds. They have a crew of interns hawking performances on social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace and are offering a 10 percent discount to members of all arts organizations.
"We have to be a part of the new technology age," White said. "It's the audience we've got to reach now."
By some measures, it has worked. Jazz Fest tickets are selling twice as fast as they did last year, and the Yo-Yo Ma chamber performance has already sold out.
"We're trying so hard to get kids here who would otherwise never hear this kind of music," SPAC marketing director Shane Williams-Ness said.
Much of the losses of the ballet and orchestra are also offset by SPAC's contract with Live Nation, which books all the rock and pop summer shows at the venue. The first one is Coldplay next Wednesday. Concertgoers often misunderstand the relationship between SPAC and Live Nation, or assume that SPAC puts on all the concerts itself. That can be a problem when audiences are upset with what they say are poorly controlled traffic and parking, an overcrowded lawn and exorbitant concession prices.
But since 1999, Live Nation has also delivered a minimum of $1 million a year to SPAC.
"It would be very difficult for us" without the partnership with Live Nation, White said. "We need them to fund our classical programming."
Danielle Furfaro is a former Times Union staff writer.
BOX:
Upcoming at SPAC
Here's a brief look at some of the upcoming performances at SPAC. For more information, call 584-9330 or visit http://www.spac.org:
Extended season shows
8 p.m. Saturday: The Boys and Girls Choir of Harlem
8 p.m. May 29: Jazz singer Rachael Price
8 p.m. May 30: Arturo O'Farrill & The Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra
Live Nation shows
7:30 p.m. Wednesday: Coldplay
Noon June 6: Fly 92.3 Summer Jam starring Jesse McCartney
7 p.m. June 12, 13: Dave Matthews Band
Modern Dance
8 p.m. June 11: Paul Taylor Dance Company
8 p.m. July 20, 21; 2 p.m. July 21: Mark Morris Dance Group
Freihofer's Jazz Festival
Noon June 27, 28
New York City Ballet
Runs: July 7-18
Philadelphia Orchestra
Runs: Aug. 5-22
Saratoga Chamber Music Festival
Runs: Aug. 4-23
TIP:
Inside
A3 Live music at Plaza falls victim to recession. 

Lincoln leaps to AA title, Bartlett's athletic maneuver sparks six- run fifth in win over Point


Justin Bartlett never bothered to go out for the track team at Lincoln, and in retrospect it looks like he made a pretty good choice in opting for baseball instead. After all, the Cougars aren't much of a threat to win a state track championship, but on Saturday afternoon they captured their second baseball title this decade.
They did it in great part, however, because of Bartlett's hurdling talents.
When the senior third baseman leaped over Point Pleasant catcher B.J. Lloyd's certain tag-out and scored, it turned what could have been a simple one-run inning into a six-run explosion. And that was enough to give Lincoln a 6-2 win over the Black Knights for the Class AA state championship at Appalachian Power Park.
"I don't know if he planned that or he just got lucky," said teammate Kenneth Healey, the Cougars' winning pitcher. "But it sure worked out."
And no, Bartlett didn't plan it.
To set the stage, Healey and Point Pleasant's Tyson Jones, a couple of pitchers largely overshadowed by the aces on their own staffs, were locked in a scoreless duel through 41/2 innings. Healey had given up four hits in five frames and had allowed just one runner to reach second base.
Jones was even better, throwing four no-hit innings and facing just two batters over the minimum. He got into a bit of trouble to start the fifth when he grazed leadoff hitter Cody Winters with an inside pitch and then gave up an infield single to Bartlett. But a strikeout and a sacrifice by Matt Payton later, Jones had two outs and runners on second and third.
The game changed dramatically in the next at bat when leadoff hitter Josh Harlow - who pitched Friday's semifinal win over Independence - got a sharp hit through the left side of the infield to score Winters from third and take a 1-0 lead. Point Pleasant left fielder Brock McClung - the winning pitcher in a 7-3 semifinal win over Sissonville - threw home to try to stop Bartlett from scoring from second on the play and Lloyd caught the throw perhaps 15 feet up the line just as Bartlett approached. Tag him out and the inning is over.
"I knew if I slid I was out. He had me dead," Bartlett said. "I thought, why not just try to jump over him?"
Bartlett had only a split second to react after Lloyd caught the ball. He stutter-stepped just slightly and leaped up over the catcher's outstretched arm, landed and took the last few steps home and scored.
"All I know is it worked," Bartlett said. "And it really got everybody fired up."
If the hurdle doesn't work, Lincoln (19-11) leads just 1-0 and perhaps, when Point's Titus Russell slams a two-run double to the right-center field wall a half-inning later, it gives the Black Knights - playing in their second straight title game - their first state baseball championship.
Instead, as Point coach James Higginbotham said, "The floodgates opened." Healey and Dale Martin singled [Healey past a third baseman who came up guarding against a bunt], Jones threw two wild pitches with runners on third and Benji Riddle singled. When it was over, Lincoln had five hits - the only ones it would get all day - and it was 6-0.
"We couldn't stop the bleeding," said Higginbotham, who allowed Jones to face 10 batters in the inning before bringing on freshman left-hander Eric Roberts. "I thought about walking the leadoff hitter [Harlow, with first base open and two out], but their two, three and four guys all hit, too."
It looked like Point (20-11) might not be finished when Healey threw six straight balls to open the top half of the next inning and then gave up a single to Eric Veith and Russell's double. But just as he had done after Point Pleasant got two on with no outs in the second, he retired the side with three strikeouts. Healey only had 22 strikeouts all season, but he fanned eight Black Knights.
"I don't try to strike out batters," said Healey (5-2), who along with fellow junior Harlow gives the Cougars their top two pitchers back for next season. "I just try to keep the ball down and let them put it in play and trust my defense."

GOV. HEINEMAN HONORS 2009 RECIPIENTS OF GOVERNOR'S WORKPLACE WELLNESS AWARD.


Award Recipients (pdf) Gov. Dave Heineman announced this year's recipients of the Governor's Excellence in Wellness Awards. A total of 27 Nebraska employers were honored for successful workplace wellness programs. The Governor will present awards to greater Nebraska company representatives during a luncheon today in Kearney.
"These awards recognize employers for their serious commitment to employee well-being," Gov. Heineman said. "Prevention and wellness efforts in the workplace have produced higher productivity, better employee satisfaction and helped control health care costs. Wellness works every time and these programs are helping more Nebraskans lead healthier lives."
The award was created to recognize Nebraska employers that have developed successful models for encouraging wellness at work. Lincoln and Omaha area businesses will be recognized during the Work Well Luncheon in Lincoln scheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 27.
Factors considered for the award included the level of support for the program by company leaders, assessment of employee needs, wellness plan design, outcomes and benefits, and policies supporting healthy behaviors. Wellness programs typically provide employees with health education, health screenings and opportunities for exercise.
Dr. Joann Schaefer, Nebraska's Chief Medical Officer, said, "Wellness programs empower employees to make good decisions about the health risk factors in their lives. They can help workers take action to avoid chronic illnesses that can adversely impact their health and affect their quality of life. We hope this award program will encourage more businesses to offer employee health and wellness programs."
Nebraska's workplace wellness program offers two categories. The Grower award division honors businesses and organizations demonstrating significant improvement in employee health behaviors, while the Sower award division recognizes workplaces with quality wellness programs.
Businesses receiving the Grower award include: Brownell-Talbot School in Omaha, the City of Grand Island, Continuum EAP in Lincoln, Creighton University of Omaha, the Fremont Area Medical Center, Gallup in Omaha, National Rural Electric Cooperative Association in Lincoln, Nebraska Bankers Association in Lincoln, Nebraska Heart Institute and Heart Hospital in Lincoln, Nebraska Risk Management Association, Inc. in Lincoln, Pfizer, Inc. in Lincoln, SilverStone Group in Omaha, Streck, Inc. in Omaha, Union College in Lincoln, UNMC Physicians in Omaha, and Warren Distribution, Inc. in Omaha.
Sower award recipients include: Ambassador Health System in Nebraska City, Cedars Youth Services in Lincoln, the City of Gering, Good Samaritan Hospital in Kearney, the Lincoln Surgical Hospital, Monsanto Company of Kearney, Morris Printing Group, Inc. in Kearney, the Nebraska Community Blood Bank of Lincoln, Region 6 Behavioral Health in Omaha, Royal Plastic Mfg., Inc. in Minden, and the YMCA of Greater Omaha.
Nebraska businesses can apply for one of the Governor's Excellence in Wellness Awards online at www.nebraska.gov or www.hhs.state.ne.us. Awards are presented annually and are good for three years. The award program is a partnership of the Office of the Governor, the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services, the Nebraska Sports Council, and WorkWell, Inc. 

четверг, 16 февраля 2012 г.

The Lincoln Log On This Day


OCTOBER 12, 1850
In the De Witt County Circuit Court, located in Clinton, Illinois, Lincoln writes an answer to plaintiff James Allsup's petition. Allsup claims that Lincoln's client, Alexander Argo, failed to pay for work that Allsup completed on a house, and that Argo refused to continue to board Allsup. Lincoln explains that Allsup did not complete the work. Lincoln admits that Argo "did refuse to board [Allsup] any longer" but only after Allsup failed to complete the work by the agreed deadline.
OCTOBER 13, 1862
President Lincoln writes to Major General George McClellan and encourages a more aggressive course of action. Lincoln reasons, "You remember my speaking to you of what I called your overcautiousness. Are you not over-cautious when you assume that you can not do what the enemy is constantly doing? Should you not claim to be at least his equal in prowess, and act upon the claim?"
OCTOBER 14, 1859
At the Clinton, Illinois, courthouse, Lincoln speaks at a Republican gathering. A newspaper reports, "He"traced the beginning of the"party in 1854 to its present altitude of power and greatness....'Our position,' says Mr. L., 'is right-our principles are good and just, but I would desire to impress on every Republican present to have patience and steadiness"whether defeated or successful"I do hope that as there is a just and righteous God in Heaven, our principles will and shall prevail sooner or later.'"
OCTOBER 15, 1863
President Lincoln writes to Secretary of War Edwin Stanton on behalf of Abigail Berea, who, Lincoln explains, "had a husband and three sons in the war, and has been a nurse herself, without pay, during nearly the whole war. Her husband was killed at Gettysburg, and one of her sons also has died in the service. One other son she is willing to leave in the service"but the youngest, James H. Benjamin,"who is in poor health, she asks to have discharged. Let it be done."
OCTOBER 16, 1862
President Lincoln writes to U.S. Senator Henry Rice, of Minnesota, regarding the recent clash between the Dakota Indians and white settlers and soldiers. Hundreds died as a result of the hostilities. Lincoln seeks to re-establish "peace and"order" in the state. Lincoln writes, "Your long experience in that country will enable you to judge for the best"I expect much good to result from your action in the premises, and sincerely hope that the mission"may be accomplished."
OCTOBER 17, 1862
At the White House, President Lincoln receives promoter P.T. Barnum and the three-foottall entertainer, Commodore Nutt, whose actual name is George Washington Morrison Nutt. A newspaper reports, "All the members of the Cabinet were present, and relished the extraordinary exhibition, while the manly little Commodore was in the best of spirits, and at the request of his distinguished audience sang 'Columbia, the Gem of the Ocean.'"
OCTOBER 18, 1839
In the Macon County Circuit Court case of Adkin v. Meisenhelder, the parties agree to dismiss the slander suit. David Adkin accused Lincoln's client, Levi Meisenhelder, of calling Adkin "a damned rascally thief [who]"has stolen hogs." Adkin complained that Meisenhelder's words "greatly injured [Adkin's] good name fame & credit and brought [Adkin] into public scandal infamy and disgrace." Adkin sought $1,000 in damages. Meisenhelder did not deny speaking the words and claimed that he could "verify" the accusations.

LINCOLN BICENTENNIAL CELEBRATION MARKS INAUGURATION OF NEW UCLA CENTER.


The UCLA campus will host four days of theater, music, lectures and panel discussions in honor of this year's bicentennial of the birth of Abraham Lincoln. The Nov. 18-21 celebration, co-sponsored by the UCLA School of Law, is the inaugural public event of UCLA's new Center for the Liberal Arts and Free Institutions.
The award-winning Interact Theatre Company will open the celebration Wednesday, Nov. 18, at the UCLA School of Law with a reading of "The Rivalry," a 1958 play by screenwriter and essayist Norman Corwin about the Lincoln-Stephen A. Douglas debates of 1858.
A two-part concert at UCLA's Schoenberg Hall will follow on Nov. 19, featuring the UCLA Philharmonia and the 100-voice UCLA Chorale performing "Canticle of Freedom" by Aaron Copland and the world premiere of the choral work "Lincoln Echoes" by UCLA associate professor of music David S. Lefkowitz. Tony Award winner John Rubinstein will direct the second half of the concert, the dramatization "I, Abraham Lincoln," which is based on a script by UCLA alumnus Brett Ryback '06 and integrates popular period music with the events leading to Lincoln's decision to issue the Emancipation Proclamation.
An academic conference on Lincoln will take place Nov. 20-21 at the UCLA Faculty Center. Featured lecturers include Daniel Walker Howe, a Pulitzer Prize-winning historian and professor emeritus at UCLA and Oxford University, and noted Lincoln biographer and scholar Allen Guelzo, a professor at Gettysburg College in Pennsylvania.
The Center for the Liberal Arts and Free Institutions (CLAFI) is an interdisciplinary center created in 2009 as part of the UCLA Division of Humanities. The center exists to assist students and faculty who would like to make the great works and achievements of Western and other civilizations a more central part of their studies.
"While part of CLAFI's emphasis will be on curriculum, it will also promote research that contributes to knowledge and understanding and is accessible to non-specialists," said center director Daniel Lowenstein, a professor at the UCLA School of Law. "During this inaugural event celebrating Lincoln, leading scholars will present their ideas in a forum that is open and accessible to all people interested in American history, not just Ph.D.s or Lincoln experts."
For a complete schedule of Lincoln bicentennial events at UCLA or for registration information, visit www.law.ucla.edu/clafi/lincolncelebration.
For additional information about the event or the Center for the Liberal Arts and Free Institutions, please contact Daniel Lowenstein at 310-825-5148 or 818-781-3022, or by e-mail at lowenstein@law.ucla.edu.
The UCLA School of Law, founded in 1949, is the youngest major law school in the nation and has established a tradition of innovation in its approach to teaching, research and scholarship. With approximately 100 faculty and 970 students, the school pioneered clinical teaching, is a leader in interdisciplinary research and training, and is at the forefront of efforts to link research to its effects on society and the legal profession. 

LINCOLN BICENTENNIAL CELEBRATION MARKS INAUGURATION OF NEW UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA AT LOS ANGELES CENTER


The UCLA campus will host four days of theater, music, lectures and panel discussions in honor of this year's bicentennial of the birth of Abraham Lincoln. The Nov. 18-21 celebration, co-sponsored by the UCLA School of Law, is the inaugural public event of UCLA's new Center for the Liberal Arts and Free Institutions.
The award-winning Interact Theatre Company will open the celebration Wednesday, Nov. 18, at the UCLA School of Law with a reading of "The Rivalry," a 1958 play by screenwriter and essayist Norman Corwin about the Lincoln-Stephen A. Douglas debates of 1858.
A two-part concert at UCLA's Schoenberg Hall will follow on Nov. 19, featuring the UCLA Philharmonia and the 100-voice UCLA Chorale performing "Canticle of Freedom" by Aaron Copland and the world premiere of the choral work "Lincoln Echoes" by UCLA associate professor of music David S. Lefkowitz. Tony Award winner John Rubinstein will direct the second half of the concert, the dramatization "I, Abraham Lincoln," which is based on a script by UCLA alumnus Brett Ryback '06 and integrates popular period music with the events leading to Lincoln's decision to issue the Emancipation Proclamation.
An academic conference on Lincoln will take place Nov. 20 - 21 at the UCLA Faculty Center. Featured lecturers include Daniel Walker Howe, a Pulitzer Prize-winning historian and professor emeritus at UCLA and Oxford University, and noted Lincoln biographer and scholar Allen Guelzo, a professor at Gettysburg College in Pennsylvania.
The Center for the Liberal Arts and Free Institutions (CLAFI) is an interdisciplinary center created in 2009 as part of the UCLA Division of Humanities. The center exists to assist students and faculty who would like to make the great works and achievements of Western and other civilizations a more central part of their studies.
"While part of CLAFI's emphasis will be on curriculum, it will also promote research that contributes to knowledge and understanding and is accessible to non-specialists," said center director Daniel Lowenstein, a professor at the UCLA School of Law. "During this inaugural event celebrating Lincoln, leading scholars will present their ideas in a forum that is open and accessible to all people interested in American history, not just Ph.D.s or Lincoln experts."

LINCOLN: ARKANSAS VETERANS FACE INCREASED CHALLENGES ACCESSING HEALTH CARE.


With Arkansas's rural veterans facing barriers to accessing timely and quality health care, U.S. Senator Blanche Lincoln is fighting for legislative initiatives that will address their unique challenges.
"This Veterans Day, we are reminded that it is essential to do everything we can to provide for those who have served our country. My father and both grandfathers served our nation in uniform and taught me from an early age about the sacrifices our troops and their families make to keep our nation free. Those who have served our country in uniform should have access to the resources their service has earned, and I will continue to fight for them and their families," said Lincoln.
A report compiled by Lincoln's office and released today shows that most Arkansas veterans live in rural areas and are underserved by a Veterans Administration that is strapped for cash and coping with an increasing veterans claim backlog. Many veterans in Arkansas must travel more than 90 miles (180 miles roundtrip) to receive care. These veterans currently pay approximately $2.50 per gallon of gasoline in addition to other transportation costs including the costs of lodging, meals, and time off work.
Lincoln has helped introduce legislation that would permanently set the rate of reimbursement for disabled veterans traveling to and from a VA facility at a minimum of 41.5 cents per mile.
The legislation would also:
* Authorize transportation grants for Veterans Service Organizations to provide better transportation service in rural areas.
* Establish Centers of Excellence for rural health research and education that would examine ways to improve delivery of health care to rural veterans.
* Authorize the VA to conduct demonstration projects on alternatives for expanding care for veterans in rural areas.
* Authorize the VA to contract for mental health services for recent veterans. This provision grants the VA the ability to provide these services in concert, not competition, with local providers.
Read Senator Lincoln's veterans report.
To address the health care needs of veterans in Arkansas, Lincoln is:
Fighting to improve HEALTH CARE for servicemembers and veterans by:
* Providing the VA with the biggest funding increase in its history, which has allowed the VA to better meet its current and future challenges by making needed investments in quality health care, expanding access and improving delivery of care, and enhancing numerous benefits provided to the estimated 257,000 Arkansas veterans and their families.
* Securing timely funding for veterans' health care by providing funding for the Veterans Health Administration one-year in advance of the regular appropriations process. This advance funding will ensure that veterans' health care receives timely and predictable funding each and every year.
* Providing additional resources for the Veterans Benefits Administration to hire more disability claims processors, invest in new technologies and increase training resources so it can better meet its current workload and address its backlog of pending claims.
Fighting to improve ACCESS TO CARE for servicemembers and veterans by:
* Supporting the creation of the VA's Office of Rural Health, tasked with creating demonstration projects and centers of excellence to improve health care and expand access for veterans living in Arkansas and other rural areas of the country.
* Urging a mileage reimbursement rate increase for veterans traveling to receive VA care.
* Championing legislation to authorize transportation grants for Veterans Service Organizations to provide better transportation service in rural areas; to establish Centers of Excellence for rural health research and education; and to authorize the VA to conduct demonstration projects on alternatives for expanding care for veterans in rural areas.
* Expanding access to TRICARE and the VA for members of the National Guard and Reserves who have recently returned from service in Iraq and Afghanistan.
* Urging the creation of new Community-based Outpatient Clinics to reach more veterans in rural areas of Arkansas and other underserved areas of the country. In July of 2010, the VA will open a new CBOC in Ozark to serve more veterans in north-central and northwest Arkansas.
* Addressing a gap in health care coverage for reservists who have retired but are not yet 60 years old by allowing them to purchase TRICARE Standard health care coverage.
* Providing approximately $2.75 million this year toward programs in or around Arkansas to enhance access to mental health and substance use for returning Iraq and Afghanistan veterans, and to expand telehealth services. This includes needed funding to expand a Texarkana-area project to utilize Home Based Primary Care to improve timely access to care for patients with complex medical needs living in rural areas of southwest Arkansas.
Fighting to ensure the VA is providing quality MENTAL HEALTH CARE for servicemembers and veterans by:
* Making needed investments in mental health care initiatives to ensure the VA has the capacity to deal with the increasing complexity and number of cases of Traumatic Brain Injury and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
* Increasing training for military and VA health care professionals treating mental health issues and establishing a toll-free hotline for patients and their families to report problems with medical facilities or patient care.
* Directing the VA to contract with community mental health centers to provide treatment, support services and readjustment counseling in areas of Arkansas and other states where there is inadequate access to a VA medical center.

среда, 15 февраля 2012 г.

LINCOLN COMPLETES SHIPYARD AVAILABILITY AHEAD OF SCHEDULE AFTER SUCCESSFUL SEA TRIALS.


After getting underway Jan. 13 for the first time in nine months, USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) completed its maintenance period at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility (IMF) ahead of schedule after successfully completing sea trials.
Over the Planned Incremental Availability (PIA), Lincoln underwent several upgrades, alterations and installments, culminating in thousands of man hours and millions of dollars in critical work that will ensure the ship is ready for her next two deployments.
According to Abe's Chief Engineer Cmdr. Bradford Bittle, of Des Moines, Iowa, Abe's first underway for sea trials served as the final exam for PIA to ensure everything worked properly.
Success of the $350-million overhaul can be attributed to the combined effort of Lincoln's Sailors, Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and IMF, the Naval Supervising Authority, and Todd Pacific Shipyard; the multi ship, multi option private sector partner on the job.
Some of the bigger projects undertaken included a complete modification of hangar bay one, replacing all four of the ship's propellers, remodeling the media department and training spaces with advanced technology, upgrading the ship's computer systems, and modernizing the entire flight deck.
"A lot of work went into this yard period so that Lincoln could withstand two deployments before needing the next yard period," said Bittle.
Lincoln's longest modification this PIA was a remodel of the existing 02 level mezzanine in hangar bay one, which now provides a single platform, the Universal Aviation Mission Pod Ready Service (AMPRS) to accommodate the new H-60R/S Seahawk helicopters.
This modification removed five obsolete EA-6B Prowler Legacy Test Bench Installations, the ALQ-99 Weapons Repairable Assembly racks, and the entire existing mezzanine deck.
The installations, including a new deck with a grid of 7,000 deck anchor holes, will accommodate the storage of avionics equipment needed for the H-60R/S Lincoln will house when Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 2 is embarked.
"Before we had the AMPRS, ALQ-99 Weapons Repairable Assemblies were repaired in two separate work centers and then stored in the old mezzanine," said Chief Warrant Officer 2 Cesar Astorga, Lincoln's Aircraft Intermediate Maintenance Department's avionics officer. "Now, they can all be repaired in one work center and stored in the AMPRS, which makes the process of serving the air wing more efficient."
Lincoln also upgraded to a new local area network (LAN), providing Sailors network reliability and user capacity unmatched on an aircraft carrier, along with new computers that connect faster and improve multi-tasking capabilities. The ship is the first aircraft carrier to be fully Common Access Card (CAC) enforced for user logins.
The new LAN replaces 1980s-style hardware to a much more efficient configuration using blade servers. Should a server fail, the blade server will allow Lincoln's Automated Data Processing (ADP) division to get it back up and running in a matter of minutes, where as it used to take between two to three hours.
Aside from reliability, approximately 1,215 users are able to log in to Lincoln's network making e-mail and Internet more accessible for Sailors on board.
Bittle said at the height of the maintenance period, there were more than 2,000 shipyard workers and contractors on board, completing a combined 320,000 man-days of work. Lincoln's crew also contributed 54,000 man-days in getting Lincoln back to full capability, in addition to simultaneously completing thousands of days of training.
Bittle said the ship's force set high expectations and met them during PIA, and that helped Lincoln and civilian contractors reach their goal.
"Our expectations were on-time delivery and 100% ready to fight, and we met those goals with flying colors," he said.
Much of the success of the shipyard period can be attributed to diligent planning, which began in 2008 during and upon return from an overseas deployment.
"The chief's mess and Lincoln Sailors created a good maintenance plan before hand, and when it came time to execute they were ready," Bittle said. "They did a great job planning all the work, and it made my job easier."
Bittle said because the ship accurately planned what work needed to be done, it was able to appropriately choose the teams of Sailors needed to complete the work on time.
According to Bittle, there were 11 teams of Sailors, called Tiger Teams, who worked various jobs on Lincoln to get the ship through PIA. Teams included a deck team, who tiled more than 120 decks; the habitability team, which overhauled 30 berthings and 11 heads; the paint team, which painted more than a tenth of the ship; and the cable team, who found and removed 130 potentially dangerous dead-end cables.
Other notable statistics from the nine month shipyard period, in addition to finishing on early, include a 50% reduction in alcohol-related incidents and a 25% reduction in safety mishaps compared to the last PIA.
"The ship is in much better material condition now than it was before we were in the yards," said Bittle. "Now we can begin to exercise all our training teams, watch standers, engineering and weapons systems so we can integrate into a full Strike Group."
For more information about USS Abraham Lincoln visit our Web page at www.navy.mil/local/cvn72, or find us on Facebook by searching for "USS Abraham Lincoln."

Lincoln says disaster assistance a higher priority than farm bill hearings.


House Ag Committee Chairman Collin Peterson (D-Minn.) is already talking about hearings and topics regarding a new farm bill. But during a recent interview with Informa Economics, Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.) said that if she did hold hearings on a new farm bill this year they likely would come later in 2010.
Lincoln said that during the first three months of this year she planned to focus on reauthorizing child nutrition funding "before the budget baseline comes out." Next on the must-do list, she said, is "making sure we deal with the derivatives portion of financing regulatory reform legislation." Lincoln said her panel also would focus a lot on job creation, "helping put the U.S. economy back on track, utilizing rural development programs and other tools to grease job opportunities in the rural sector."
Another item on Lincoln's immediate radar is helping farmers get direct financial aid to compensate for losses suffered last year due to adverse weather. "Farmers in the five states of Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas, Mississippi and Louisiana were hit by weather impacts in the spring and the fall," she said. "Ag bankers are tightening credit requirements and more farmers will have a hard time getting loans. That's what direct aid is needed for production agriculture."
Lincoln said that while low-interest loans helped farmers last year, "a second weather disaster this fall resulted in a very hard time getting crops harvested. Now, farmers are already leveraged, and banks are tightening credit standards. That is why I will push disaster assistance."
Asked if a disaster bill would be a stand-alone measure or attached to a must-have bill, Lincoln said, "Whatever way it gets through in the fastest time."
Regarding the upcoming vote on a climate change bill that will come to the Senate floor this year, Lincoln says there currently are too many unanswered questions about the effects of the bill on both agricultural producers and consumers for her to support the measure. Lincoln said she could not support "as written" the bill sponsored by Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.).
Asked about USDA analysis of a university economic model that prompted a lot of concern in farm country due to its conclusions that some 60 million acres could shift from crop and pasture land to trees in 2050 if carbon prices are at $70 per ton, Lincoln said the analysis "raised many concerns." Among these: how many acres of crop land would be converted to forests; how Arkansas farmers would fare under cap and trade; the significant cost increases to the livestock sector; and how consumers and energy costs will be affected.
Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) is expected to offer an amendment to a Senate bill that would raise the debt ceiling (which the Senate must consider later this month) that would deal with climate issues. Murkowski's amendment would withdraw funds for one year to implement EPA's endangerment finding on carbon dioxide and five other greenhouse gases. Asked if she would support the amendment, Lincoln said, "I haven't really looked at [Murkowski's] amendment. But I have a feeling I could support it."
Lincoln also said she continues to favor some type of legislation that focuses more on energy as opposed to climate change, noting that issues like conservation, renewable energy standards, renewable fuel requirements and other incentives were included in a bill that was approved by the Energy Committee.
Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) has indicated that when the Energy panel's bill was ready to go to the Senate floor that he would "come with an energy tax package to go with it." Lincoln said the concept there would be to "jumpstart" some of the initiatives, which would yield results such as creating jobs, reducing U.S. dependence on foreign oil and lowering U.S. greenhouse gas emissions.
Her concerns on climate-change legislation, however, remain. "First, it doesn't make a lot of sense," she noted. "How can we have a whole cap and trade system before we even have financial market regulatory reform for agencies that would oversee it?" Plus, she said, there's a question of how long it would take EPA to write the regulations for a cap-and-trade system. "I'm not saying it can't work," Lincoln stressed. "But there are a lot of serious questions that need to be answered."