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  • Courts’ budget being debated

    first_imgThe Florida court system is doing reasonably well as the state House and Senate work on their 2005-06 budgets, but still faces some difficulties, according to State Courts Administrator Lisa Goodner.The courts are getting much of what they want in initial budgets approved by the House and Senate early in April, but there are some shortfalls, and much remains to be settled in the closing weeks of the session.“We have a better allocation of dollars in the House budget than in the Senate budget, but we have a lot of opportunities for negotiation in conference [between the two chambers],” Goodner said. “We are very optimistic that those negotiations will go well and we will be treated well in our major budget priorities this year.”Overall, the House budget boosts spending for the judicial branch by $24.7 million, while the Senate is looking at a $9.5 million increase. The branch had requested an additional $72 million.Goodner said that $72 million was based on all 110 new judges requested by the Supreme Court being approved and funded as of the July 1 start of the 2005-06 budget year. The major differences with the legislative budgets is on judges.The House budget has 108 judges [two new requested district court of appeal judges are not in the House plan], with the appointments staggered over the year beginning in the fall. The Senate plan has only 18 judges for 2005-06, and 16 judges the following year.One top priority for the court system is to get enough money for authorized staff positions, which has been a continual problem that has forced the courts to leave some positions unfilled for extended periods.“We are disappointed that we’ve not gotten much response in either house in dealing out our salary budget shortfall problem,” Goodner said. “That has been one of our most significant issues.. . . We’re still working on that issue and we are engaged in dialogue with members and staff regularly to try to persuade them that’s an issue we should have more substantially funded.”The courts are also hoping for an overall boost in salaries for court system employees, although Goodner noted that is typically decided in the last days of the session.“The branch is falling further and further behind the rest of government in terms of the salary and benefits we offer our employees,” she said.Legislators have also recognized maintenance issues, especially with the Supreme Court, and lawmakers have included a $2.7 million security upgrade. However, with the district courts of appeal, “we are still short, in the Senate particularly, on some really critical building and maintenance issues,” Goodner said.The legislature had included new positions for Goodner’s office to help manage the implementation of Revision 7, which last year had the state take over more trial court funding from the county. There is also money for two new security positions and some new administrative positions for the Supreme Court, she said.“There has not been a great deal of new positions funded for the trial courts, but we had a lot of new positions funded last year [as part of Revision 7],” she said.The biggest difference between the two chambers remains the number of new judges. The House originally had 108 new circuit and county judges, while the Senate had all 110 certified by the Supreme Court, including the two DCA positions. But in early April, the Senate Justice Appropriations Committee changed that to 34 judges, 18 this year and 16 next year.At the time, committee chair Sen. Victor Crist, R-Tampa, and other members assured supporters of more judges that the change was only a posturing and negotiating tactic and that Crist and the committee supported at least 55 new judges this year and 55 more next year. The change led to speculation the Senate was using the number of judges as a negotiating “chip” to win other concessions from the House.“There are always so many issues in play with the legislature that it’s hard as an outsider to know what this may be being used against,” Goodner said. “Whether this posturing is about the actual number of judges or another issue, I don’t know.” May 1, 2005 Regular News Courts’ budget being debatedcenter_img Courts’ budget being debatedlast_img read more

  • Inslee Signs New COVID-19 Order for Phased Re-Opening of Washington’s Economy

    first_imgFacebook78Tweet0Pin0Submitted by Washington Governor Jay InsleeSome businesses could re-open as early as this week under the new COVID-19 order signed by Gov. Jay Inslee today. The state’s “Safe Start” plan is a phased approach to re-opening Washington’s economy.Under the plan, smaller counties can apply for a variance from the order which would allow them to open even more businesses than allowed statewide.Safe Start sets a careful approach to emerging from the pandemic. It allows for modifications of business closures and physical distancing measures while minimizing the health impacts of COVID-19.“This phased approach to re-opening our economy will allow us to move forward with a careful and thoughtful balance of our state’s health and economic needs,” Inslee said. “However, if infection rates and hospitalizations for COVID-related issues go up, I would not hesitate to scale these efforts back down to protect public health and save lives.“I fully recognize the impact this is having on families, workers and businesses, but we have not yet won the fight against this virus,” Inslee continued. “We continue to see infection rates, hospitalizations and deaths across the state from COVID-19.”While Stay Home, Stay Healthy is being extended to the end of May, the governor announced his Safe Start plan which amends some components of the original order and allow for a start to re-open the state.Through the Washington “Safe Start” plan, more businesses and activities would re-open in phases with adequate social distancing measures and health standards in place. Each phase will be at least three weeks — data and metrics will determine when the state can move from one phase to another.Read the full Safe Start policy plan here.Read the full story on the governor’s Medium page.last_img read more

  • Summer Camp Offers Glimpse Into a Public Safety Career

    first_img“It’s really, really great to see what they are doing, so I know what I’m going to be doing in the future,” she said. “This is a week of opportunity for our young adults to come in (and) have an experience about law and public safety through our Monmouth County Police Academy,” Monmouth County Sheriff Shaun Golden said. “They take a week out of their summer. They could be on the beach, they could be doing some recreation, doing something else. But they’re here dedicated to learning about law enforcement and public safety.” July 8 to 12 marked Sheriff’s Youth Week, a program the Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office started in 1992 with 16 students. The program is more than just a week of summer camp for children. Rather, it is aimed at young men and women with an interest in a career in law enforcement. While many students were returning participants in the program, others, like Dori Valentine, were there for the first time. “They are not allowed to have their cellphones,” said John Cuccia, the assistant director of youth week and a supervisor at the sheriff’s 911 center. “It’s funny, because I told them that on the first day. We took their cellphones and told them to put them in the bags that we gave them. And every few hours, I would sit there and go, ‘My God, you guys have made it four hours without a cellphone. Are you alive?’ ” As he spoke, a group of teens marched past, all wearing matching T-shirts, baseball caps and black pants on a hot morning. “If you need water, fill up your water bottle now,” an instructor called out to them. “Who’s first?” he asked. A young woman raised her hand and got into the seat. “We want them to understand it’s a tough job, it’s a great job,” said executive undersheriff Ted Freeman, the director of youth week. “It’s a rewarding experience.” By Philip Sean Curran Their days began at 7:45 a.m. and ended at 4 p.m. – days filled with work and sweat. As a rising junior at Red Bank Regional High School, she aspires to attend college at either the U.S. Military Academy at West Point or the Coast Guard Academy. She said she would like to work for the FBI one day. “Most people go to work and they make a living,” said Freeman, who got into law enforcement in 1966 in Spring Lake. “We make a difference in law enforcement. Every day, any police officer, any corrections officer, goes to work (and) they have an opportunity to make a difference in someone’s life. And that is worth more than the pay and it’s worth more than the benefits.” “Her longest successful track is 5.9 miles, eight hours after the guy crashed his car and fled on foot,” Kroeper said.center_img On the grounds of Monmouth County’s Situational Training and Response Simulator facility in Freehold, more than 100 teenagers from the county got a first-hand taste of what it’s like to be in law enforcement – from flying drones to getting up close and personal with a bloodhound that’s been used to hunt down murderers. Youth Week has a high return rate, with about 45 percent of students having previously attended. Through the years, some alumni of the program have gone into law enforcement, including one who decided to forgo becoming a nun and instead became a police officer in Alexandria, Virginia, Freeman said. Mya Ostermiller was a first-time attendee of youth week as well. At 18, she graduated this year from Middletown South High School and, bound for Kutztown University in Pennsylvania later this summer, she said she wants to do something in law enforcement as a career. “We have drill instruction every morning, every afternoon we have an hour of (physical training),” Freeman said. “It’s just like the academy.” At the facility in Freehold, Sheriff’s Officer Kurt Kroeper, a member of the K-9 unit, was holding forth with Skye, a 5 1⁄2-year-old bloodhound. The students stood in front listening as he talked about the dog and some of the work she has done around the state. “We want them aware that, if you’re vaping or if you’re thinking about it, these are the health hazards and health hazards affect a police officer’s ability to perform,” Freeman said. Through the week the teens also had a chance to hear from guest speakers from various law enforcement agencies. One included Doug Collier, a retired agent with the federal Drug Enforcement Administration who is now a Monmouth University professor. He spoke about vaping, the practice of using electronic cigarettes. And there wasn’t a smartphone in sight. FREEHOLD – Inside a darkened room normally used for law enforcement training, Tracey Tift set up a driving simulator that gave a bunch of teenagers a sense of what it’s like to be on the road behind the wheel of a police car. “It definitely opens up my eyes and I totally get a new perspective on what people in police specifically really do out in the real world,” said Valentine, 16. This article was first published in the July 18 – 24, 2019 print edition of The Two River Times.last_img read more


    first_imgLIGHTSTREAM HAS (LITTLE RED) FEATHER IN HER CAP FOR LA BREALightstream, winner of the Grade II Raven Run at Keeneland on Oct. 22, will haveadditional ownership representation when she runs in the Grade I La Brea Stakes for three-year-old fillies on opening day next Monday, Dec. 26.Little Red Feather Racing, a major player in California, purchased a share of the daughter of Harlan’s Holiday after she captured the Raven Run under Julien Leparoux, who is unbeaten in three starts on the bay Kentucky-bred.“We bought a minority interest after the Raven Run,” said Little Red Feather founder and managing partner Billy Koch, 47. “(Existing owners) Up Hill Stable and Head of Plains Partners LLC were generous enough to let us come in for a minority share and we’re excited about the filly.“She’s training awesome for Brian Lynch at Palm Meadows in Florida and she arrives at Santa Anita this week. We’re excited about the prospects of running in the La Brea.“I think she will definitely be one of the favorites, if not the favorite. She just needs a good trip. Julien will ride and he knows her very well. I don’t know exactly who’s going in the race but it looks like there’s a lot of speed so it could set up nicely for her.”A deep closer, Lightstream has run four races at seven furlongs in her six-race career, winning three including the Raven Run and the Grade III Beaumont, both at Keeneland. She was second in the Grade I Test Stakes at seven furlongs at Saratoga last August, beaten less than a length.Koch, the grandson of famed Hollywood producer and director Howard Koch, has been syndicating horses since 1991 and formed Little Red Feather in 2002. FINISH LINES: Santa Anita clockers had their stopwatches working overtime Sunday and Monday, with a total of 476 recorded workouts, 262 Monday and 214 Sunday . . . Santa Anita Handicap and Gold Cup winner Melatonin is being pointed to the Grade II, $300,000 San Antonio Stakes at 1 1/8 miles Feb. 4, trainer David Hofmans said, while Breeders’ Cup Sprint runner-up Masochistic is ticketed for the Grade III Midnight Lute at 6 ½ furlongs Dec. 31, according to trainer Ron Ellis . . . FrontRunner winner Gormley is set to make his three-year-old debut in the Grade III Sham Stakes at one mile on Jan. 7, according to John Shirreffs. . . Drayden Van Dyke “is very happy” with how things are going under new agent Brad Pegram. “Riding for (trainer) Graham Motion is a plus, and I’m very fortunate to have people like him behind me,” Van Dyke said . . . Agent Craig Stephen, who developed Santiago Gonzalez into an “overnight sensation,” now represents veteran Stewart Elliott, while Vic Lipton has brought in 25-year-old Edgar Velasco, a 10-pound apprentice who has been riding at Sam Houston Park in Texas . . . Former jockey Carlos Arias, while still owner of Arias Whips, has become a first-time agent, representing Kayla Stra . . . Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint runner-up by a nose Om is scheduled to return from a three-week break at Oakmont in Murrieta to prepare for the Grade II Arcadia Stakes at a mile on grass Feb. 11, trainer Dan Hendricks said . . . Hostess with the Mostess Rosie Ybarra is in her 38th year serving bagels and banter at Clockers’ Corner. “When I first arrived, I expected to be here one day,” said Rosie, who is one year shy in seniority behind Isabel Estrada, who works at Club House stand 33 in the Lanai Room. DREFONG HEADS MALIBU NOMINATIONSHeaded by Breeders’ Cup Sprint winner Drefong, Santa Anita’s prestigious Grade I, seven furlong Malibu, to be run on opening day, has attracted a star-studded roster of 22 three-year-old nominations, with entries to be taken for the Malibu and three other graded stakes on Wednesday.Trained by Bob Baffert and owned by Baoma Corp., Drefong, who also won the Grade I, seven furlong Kings Bishop Stakes at Saratoga Aug. 27, has five wins from six starts and is a leading candidate to be voted America’s Eclipse champion sprinter of 2016.Drefong is likely to be joined in the starting gate by Mind Your Biscuits, who finished a close third in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint on Nov. 5 and has remained in training at his Belmont Park base for trainer Robert Falcone, Jr.Trainer Mark Casse’s multiple stakes-winning Awesome Banner, who has been based at Palm Meadows in south Florida, is also probable for the 65th running of the Malibu, won last year by eventual Eclipse Sprint champ Runhappy.Also prominent among Malibu nominees is Baffert’s Mor Spirit, absent since he was well-beaten in the Kentucky Derby May 7. Owned by Michael Lund Peterson, he was winner of the Grade I Los Alamitos CashCall Futurity at two and the Grade III Robert B. Lewis Stakes at Santa Anita on Feb. 6. He was subsequently second in both the Grade II San Felipe Stakes March 12 and the Grade I Santa Anita Derby April 9.Although Breeders’ Cup Classic winning Arrogate is also among five horses nominated by Baffert, the grey son of Unbridled’s Song is expected to run instead in the Grade II San Pasqual Stakes at 1 1/16 miles on Jan. 1, as he points to a rematch with California Chrome in the inaugural $12 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational at Gulfstream Park Jan. 28.In addition to the Malibu, three other opening day stakes closed Friday; the Grade I, $300,000 La Brea, for 3-year old fillies at seven furlongs, the Grade II, $200,000 Mathis Brothers Mile (turf) for 3-year-olds, and the Grade III, $100,000 San Simeon, for 3-year-olds and up at about 6 ½ furlongs down Santa Anita’s hillside turf course.Santa Anita presents a nine-race card on opening day, with special early first post time at 12 noon. Admission gates open at 10 a.m. and fans will receive Santa Anita’s popular 2017 wall calendar free, with paid admission. SANTA ANITA OFFERS POPULAR WALL CALENDAR AND MUCH MORE OPENING DAY            In addition to four graded stakes, Santa Anita will treat fans to its popular 2017 wall calendar and much more with the beginning of its traditional Winter Meet next Monday.A fan favorite for decades, the Santa Anita 2017 wall calendar will be given free of charge to all attendees with paid admission.The 2017 calendar is not only bucolic and picturesque, but contains information on Thoroughbreds so profound even a hard-core race tracker can learn something new.Themed “Anatomy of a Champion,” the calendar contains a veterinarian’s glossary in layman’s terms.In short, it’s a keeper!First post time Monday is 12 noon; admission gates open at 10 a.m.Here’s a schedule of opening day events:–Grade I, $300,000 Malibu Stakes for 3-year-olds at seven furlongs.            –Grade I, $300,000 La Brea Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at seven furlongs            –Grade II, $200,000 Mathis Brothers Mile (turf) for 3-year-olds            –Grade III, $100,000 San Simeon Stakes for 3-year-olds and up, at 6 ½ furlongs down hillside turf             –Free 2017 Santa Anita Wall Calendar             –Free Mathis Brothers plush Thoroughbred toy to first 5,000 kids 12 and under            –A Mathis Brothers Gift Certificate, free with paid admission            –Craft Beer and Cider Festival on Grandstand Apron (packages available at santaanita.com/events)            –Guest Chef Series in the Chandelier Room featuring a catered menu from one of LA’s hottest restaurants, delicious whiskey tastings, live music and more, visit santaanita.com/events for details            –Infield Family Fun Zone featuring pony rides and much more, visit santaanita.com/events            –Bud Light Lounge, all you can eat buffet, first beer included, racing program and more, visit santaanita.com/events            Entries for opening day races will be taken this Wednesday, Dec. 21. For more racing and event information, please visit santaanita.com or call (626) 574-RACE. Courtesy of Mathis Brothers Furniture, the first 5,000 kids 12 and under will receive a plush Thoroughbred toy and all paid attendees will receive a Mathis Brothers gift certificate.For more information on opening day events and racing at Santa Anita, please visit santaanita.com, or call (626) 574-RACE. LIGHTSTREAM COULD SHINE IN GRADE I LA BREABC SPRINT KING DREFONG LIKELY FOR MALIBUFREE WALL CALENDAR OF PLENTY OPENING DAYAIMEE DOLLASE IS AN ‘ASSISTANT IN MOTION’WORKERS KEEP SANTA ANITA CLOCKERS BUSY AIMEE DOLLASE AIDS MOTION AT SANTA ANITAAimee Dollase, daughter of the late multiple Grade I-winning trainer Wally Dollase and sister of trainers Craig and Michelle, is on hand at Santa Anita with 15 horses as an assistant for internationally accomplished horseman Graham Motion.“I started with Graham about a week before the Keeneland meet started (opening day was Oct. 7),” Aimee said. “We have close to 12 stalls here and a lot of nice stakes horses. Graham and his wife (Anita) are great people. The whole operation is first class.“Racing is in my blood, it’s my passion, so it’s great to have the opportunity to work for an outfit like Graham’s.”last_img read more

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