Categories: News State Rep. Ed McBroom, R-Escanaba, welcomed Escanaba Area Public Schools teachers Phil and Jane Lynch to Gov. Rick Snyder’s State of the State address in the House chamber on Tuesday evening. Phil teaches high school social studies and Jane is a teaching assistant at Lemmer Elementary School. 22Jan McBroom hosts local teachers at governor’s State of the State address
Categories: News 10Aug Rep. Price to cancel August office hours State Rep. Amanda Price will be cancelling office hours previously scheduled for Aug. 17.Residents who had previously planned to attend office hours are encouraged to contact Rep. Price’s office by phone toll free at 888-238-1008 or by email at AmandaPrice@house.mi.gov.Office hours for early fall are expected to be announced in coming weeks.###
Categories: Barrett News,News 02May Rep. Barrett unveils bill as part of Energy Freedom plan PHOTO INFORMATION: State Rep. Tom Barrett (R-Charlotte) discusses the bipartisan Energy Freedom legislation during a Tuesday news conference in the Capitol building. Rep. Barrett’s bill will raise the limit on the number of people who can offset their electric costs by using renewable energy. Rep. Barrett is joined at the news conference by Rep. Steve Johnson (R-Wayland), right, and Rep. Yousef Rabhi (D-Ann Arbor), authors of other bills in the package. The House Energy Policy Committee, upon which Rep. Barrett serves, will take up the legislation in coming weeks.#### Legislator’s measure lets more people use clean energy
26Sep Rep. Chatfield: Stronger pipeline safety standards needed in Straits State Rep. Lee Chatfield speaks in support of his “Straits of Mackinac Safety, Protection and Accountability” action plan before the House Michigan Competitiveness Committee this week.State Rep. Lee Chatfield’s plan to better protect the Great Lakes by strengthening pipeline safety standards in the Straits of Mackinac was approved today by the House Michigan Competitiveness Committee.Rep. Chatfield, of Levering, said the comprehensive plan ensures vessels and utility companies operating in the Straits are accountable to the people of Michigan.“While pipelines in the Straits play a vital role in transporting energy resources to people and businesses in northern Michigan and the Upper Peninsula, we must also ensure they are properly maintained and inspected,” Chatfield said. “The Great Lakes and our inland waterways are just as critical to the economy and our way of life. A spill would endanger our natural resources and affect the well-being of people in every northern Michigan community.”The “Straits of Mackinac Safety, Protection and Accountability” action plan:Improves reporting from pipeline operators to the state of Michigan.Increases the safety and security of utility lines that provide communities in northern Michigan and the Upper Peninsula with access to phone, cable, natural gas, oil and electricity.Provides additional signs and buoys alerting boats not to use anchors in the Straits.Establishes clear penalties for vessels that break maritime laws and jeopardize the safety of Michigan’s waterways.Provides added accountability and increased penalties for those responsible for negligence or criminal damage to public utilities.“Implementing these responsible reforms will protect the water we drink, fish and swim in with our families while ensuring local communities continue to benefit from resources provided by the critical infrastructure lines that connect our two peninsulas,” Chatfield said.House Bills 6187, 6199, 6200 and 6201 now move to the full House for consideration.### Categories: Chatfield News
State Rep. Jack O’Malley, of Lake Ann, will meet with local residents during scheduled office hours this month.“I will be visiting all four counties in the ‘Fighting 101st’ to hear directly from residents about the issues that matter most to them,” O’Malley said. “Whether you need assistance or would like to share an idea that will keep Michigan moving forward, I encourage you to attend!”Rep. O’Malley will be available Saturday, Jan. 26 at the following times and locations:9 to 10 a.m. at Ludington City Hall, 400 S Harrison St. in Ludington;11 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Manistee Area Chamber of Commerce, 11 Cypress St. in Manistee;1 to 2 p.m. at Benzonia Township Hall, 1020 Michigan Ave. in Benzonia; and3 to 4 p.m. at the Leelanau County Government Center, 8527 E Government Center Drive in Suttons Bay.No appointments are necessary. Those who are unable to attend at the scheduled times but would like an opportunity to talk with Rep. O’Malley may call his office at (517) 373-0825 or email him at JackOMalley@house.mi.gov.### Categories: O’Malley News 18Jan Rep. O’Malley announces first in-district office hours
ShareTweetShareEmail0 SharesApril 8, 2015; New York TimesIn a rare show of bipartisanship, Sens. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Patty Murray (D-WA) have proposed comprehensive revisions to No Child Left Behind in a 600-page reauthorization draft of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA). Their bill, entitled the Every Child Achieves Act of 2015, is scheduled for committee action on their agreement and any amendments to begin at 10 a.m. Tuesday, April 14th.With controversy raging about many elements of the federal government’s effort to improve public education, just getting this bill underway as a bipartisan effort is most unusual. What appears to have been the catalyst for agreement is a shared belief that the power of the federal government to shape American educational policy has grown too great and must be contained. The bill’s objective, “to ensure that all children have a fair, equitable, and significant opportunity to receive a high-quality education that prepares them for postsecondary education or the workforce, without the need for postsecondary remediation, and to close educational achievement gaps,” would seem less controversial than first thought.“This is a big deal,” said Randi Weingarten, the president of the American Federation of Teachers. “It goes back to the original intent of the law, to level the playing field for at-risk kids.” Others see the bill as more status quo, though Lily Eskelsen Garcia, president of the National Education Association, the country’s largest teachers union, expressed disappointment that the new bill retained annual testing requirements.The Alexander-Murray approach does appear to limit the power of the federal government to use federal funding as a lever to pressure state governments and influence public education. Over the past decade, using the authority to grant or deny waivers to the requirements in current funding law that all students demonstrate annual educational progress, the Secretary of Education has been able to pressure states to meet the administration’s educational philosophy. Using this approach the Obama administration has moved to implement the Common Core curriculum, establish national education standards, introduce a regimen of annualized testing, and establish a new methodology of teacher evaluation tied to student test results that has drawn criticism from across the political spectrum. Alexander-Murray specifically prohibits the Secretary of Education from using this power, returning authority to each State. States will still be expected to set challenging goals for annual student progress, but the proposed legislation specifically restricts the Secretary of Education from challenging state goals and from withholding funding based on the approach chosen. Annual testing for grades 3-8 will remain a requirement, avoiding a threatened presidential veto, but each state will be given the ability to determine how it will accomplish this objective; the bill specifically recognizes that standardized testing is not the only mechanism available by authorizing the use “of portfolios, projects, or extended performance tasks.” Current federal policy requires annual teacher evaluations tied to student test results; the proposed revision leaves the decision on how and when to evaluate teachers to each state.The bill does keep in place encouragement for states to create systems “establish, expand, or improve alternative routes for State certification of teachers and administrators.” This will be seen positively by supporters of Teach for America and similar programs and opposed by those like Diane Ravitch who see these alternate routes as doing great damage to the profession of education at to the children who are in the classroom.Yet to be addressed is the total amount to be allocated in the federal budget for public education and the specific allocation of these funds among the several funding streams covered by this legislation.If passed, the Alexander-Murray bill will not end the national debates about how to improve America’s public education system. Rather, it will remove the common enemy of critics of all shades: the U.S. Department of Education. We can expect that the debate will shift from the halls of Congress in Washington to fifty state capitals. And it will raise a new question: Are the educations provided in each state equal in quality? And if they are not, is our national commitment to “all children hav[ing] a fair, equitable, and significant opportunity to receive a high-quality education” being met?Beginning with Tuesday’s Senate hearings, the debate about the direction of American education will enter its next phase.—Marty Levine ShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares
Share14TweetShareEmail14 Shares“Potatoes, Corvallis Farmers Market.” Photo: Wendell.July 24, 2018; Brookings InstitutionGeography may be the source of great inequity in how effective SNAP, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program—better known as “food stamps”—is in its goal of diminishing food insecurity for those living in deep poverty.According to a Brookings Institution article by Hilary Hoynes and James Ziliak, “The price of food varies widely across different locations…. In places with higher food prices, rates of household, adult, and child food insecurity are higher.”In a separate report from the Hamilton Project, entitled Modernizing SNAP Benefits, Ziliak suggests that equalizing SNAP benefits geographically would reduce food insecurity, improve outcomes, and be cost-effective. Understanding how geography impacts this oft-assailed yet highly effective federal program may help to unravel why a change would be beneficial.A family or individual SNAP allotment is based on a formula that hasn’t been updated since 2006. This alone should signal that it’s time to look at how this program calculates its allocations. Here is how it works:A household’s SNAP benefit allotment is a function of the maximum benefit minus a household’s expected contribution toward purchasing food. The Thrifty Food Plan (the TFP) specifies the bundle of foods constituting a nutritious diet that can be purchased at minimal cost; the value of this bundle, which was last updated in 2006, serves as the basis for the value of the maximum SNAP benefit. The maximum benefit is then adjusted by family size. A household without net income receives the maximum benefit. Households with positive income (net of deductions for labor-market earnings, dependent care, housing costs, and other expenses) see their SNAP benefit reduced by 30 cents for every dollar of net income.There is almost no geographic variation in the SNAP benefit formula. Alaska and Hawaii do have a higher maximum benefit, which the Institute of Medicine report on SNAP benefit adequacy speculated was due to their presumed higher food costs. The benefit formula makes these two states the exception, but evidence from the past two decades suggests that there are substantial local differences in food prices across the rest of the United States.Indeed, the data show that not only do food costs differ by region, but that “trends in food prices by markets are quite different over time. For example, in the Mountain West market centered on Utah, SNAP purchasing power increased from 65 to 70 percent in 1999 to 75 to 80 percent in 2010; while SNAP purchasing power in Maine and upper New Hampshire and Vermont decreased from 65 to 70 percent in 1999 to less than 65 percent in 2010.”Of course, where food prices are higher, the ability of an adjusted SNAP benefit to maintain family nutrition is correspondingly lower, leading to higher rates of child, adult, and household food insecurity. The logic behind a readjustment in benefits seems clear.The Quarterly Food-at-Home Price Database (QFAHPD) was developed to offer data that would be useful for policymakers. However, it only covers about three dozen locations in the United States. But the data provided show the wide variance in the cost of food from location to location.The map below clearly shows where SNAP inequity plays out. The lighter blue areas indicate where the “spending power” of SNAP is diminished by the higher costs of food in the geographic areas.The impact of SNAP inequity goes beyond the ability to purchase nutritious food for a struggling family; there are implications for the health and educational outcomes of the children who experience food insecurity as a result. In a working paper by Erin T. Bronchetti, Garret S. Christensen, and Hilary W. Hoynes focused on food prices, SNAP, and child health, they conclude that lower SNAP purchasing power leads to lower use of preventative health care and, thus, more days of school missed because of illness. This research indicated that a 10 percent increase in SNAP purchasing power increases the likelihood that a child will have an annual health checkup by 8.1 percent. That seems significant in terms of healthcare costs and child well-being.In Brookings’ article, Hoynes and Ziliak, suggest the government should transition to a geographically-adjusted maximum benefit for SNAP. “Replacing the annual national CPI adjustment with an annual local CPI adjustment would account for level and trend differences in food prices by place, replicate an existing process, and minimize administrative burden.” They indicate that this could be facilitated by the Bureau of Labor Statistics producing and publishing local Consumer Price Indices (CPI) for the 29 food categories in the Thrifty Food Plan (TFY).SNAP has been one of the most successful programs in achieving its goal of alleviating food insecurity for children and families in poverty. If balancing the geographic inequities of this successful program could improve family nutrition, as well as boosting children’s health and school attendance rates, it seems worthy of attention.—Carole LevineShare14TweetShareEmail14 Shares
Portuguese regulator Anacom has launched a campaign to make the country’s citizens aware of the forthcoming digital switchover.The campaign, created by agency Fuel, and featuring actor and presenter Predro Granjer, is designed to raise awareness ahead of the next phase of switchover, which will see the coastal areas of the country make the move to digital broadcasting in January. The Azores and Madeira will complete switchover in March, with the remaining areas in the interior of mainland Portugal to follow in April.
The Church of England has sold its shares in media company News Corp because was “not satisfied that News Corporation had shown, or is likely in the immediate future to show, a commitment to implement necessary corporate governance reform” in the wake of the phone-hacking scandal.The church said that it has sold £1.9 million (€2.4 million) of shares accordingly.Andrew Brown, secretary of the Church Commissioners, said: “Our decision to disinvest was not one taken lightly and follows a year of continuous dialogue with the company, during which the Ethical Investment Advisory Group put forward a number of recommendations around how corporate governance structures at News Corporation could be improved. However the EIAG does not feel that the company has brought about sufficient change and we have accepted its advice to disinvest.”
RGB Networks will exhibit at ANGA COM on stand 10.1/V18. RGB CTO, Yuval Fisher, will present a session in the Speakers’ Corner called ‘Deploying Cloud-Based Ad Insertion Using OpenStack’, on May 20 from 12:00 – 12.20. Multiscreen video delivery specialist RGB Networks will showcase its CloudXtream solutions at ANGA COM. CloudXtream is designed to let operators easily deploy monetisation services like ad insertion for multiscreen (AIM) and nDVR solutions, with “minimal upfront capital costs or ongoing operational expenses.”RGB’s CloudXtream initiative is built on the scalable OpenStack framework and offers scalable, geo-redundant, IP-delivered video services. It also aims to respond to elastic demand for transcoding, packaging, IP streaming, ad insertion and nDVR storage.“With our next-generation products for live, time-shifted and software-based delivery, video service providers can not only ensure they deliver premium quality audio and video to all IP devices but also actively monetise all screens,” said Andy Salo, VP of product management at RGB Networks.“We are particularly excited to be showcasing our innovative CloudXtream solutions which provide operators with a bona fide software-based approach to deploying services, without incurring any unanticipated or unnecessary costs that may hinder their rollout plans.”
UK satellite TV provider Sky is rolling out a number of new features for its Sky+ electronic programming guide (EPG), including a new recommendations engine and a ‘Smart Series Link’ record function.The recommendations engine will suggest both linear TV and on-demand TV shows to Sky customers based on recent recordings and downloads in their Sky+ Planner.The Smart Series Link feature automatically remembers to record the next season of a programme and all subsequent ones after that.Other new features include: a Sports tile, which has been added to the Sky+ homepage, offering quick access to live sporting events; movie DVD cover art for Sky Movies On Demand and the Sky Store; and combined SD and HD options making it easy for viewers to choose between HD and SD when downloading TV shows or movies on-demand.The update marks what Sky described as the “second tranche of major improvements” to the Sky+ homepage this year following a major overhaul in March when on-demand content and the Sky+ Planner were moved alongside channel listings as equal options, and a new search function was launched.“We know customers love the new Homepage as it puts catch-up, box sets and movies at the heart of their TV viewing. That’s why we’re introducing even more features to help discover more TV they really want to watch. Get recommendations for shows we think you’ll enjoy based on your recordings, and never miss a returning season ever again with Smart Series Link. It’s all part of our commitment to make Sky+ the ultimate entertainment experience,” said Sky’s director of TV Products, Luke Bradley-Jones.The latest update is rolling out to customers starting from today and will be available to more than 8 million customers with compatible Sky+HD boxes by the winter this year.
French network TV5Monde was yesterday the victim of a cyber attack by individuals claiming to belong to terrorist group ISIS, the Paris-based company has said.The attack took the channel, which goes out internationally, off air for three hours yesterday, but TV5Monde was able to bring back a partial feed by 1am yesterday, reports say.The hackers also posted the identity cards and CVs of relatives of French soldiers, along with threats and warning to French president Francois Hollande, on TV5Monde’s Facebook page.TV5Monde has now taken back control of its social media outlets, and posted messages explaining the incident. A video featuring TV5Monde director general Yves Bigot calls the attack “unprecedented”. The TV5Monde website remained offline at press time.The attack comes after French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo was attacked by terrorist gunmen in Paris in January, with 17 people left dead as a result.
BBC Worldwide is continuing the international rollout of its new channel brands with the launch of natural history offering BBC Earth in Asia.Worldwide, the commercial arm of the UK pubcaster, has refined its channel offering, which is now focused on doc offering BBC Earth, lifestyle channel BBC Brit and premium drama service BBC First.The BBC Earth service is launching in Lat-Am in September and Worldwide today announced plans for an Asian roll out.David Weiland, executive VP for BBC Worldwide Asia said: “The premiere of BBC Earth in Asia is an important step in BBC Worldwide’s strategy to inspire audiences with intelligent, distinctive content. With BBC Earth, we will now have a compelling way to share premium BBC factual content with audiences in Asia and around the world.”The BBC Knowledge channel will be rebranded Earth and the new service will be carried in Cambodia, Indonesia,Malaysia, Mongolia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam. There is also a BBC Earth block in Japan on Wowow.The channel will launch region-wide on October 3. It will be programmed with high-end factual history content from the BBC including The Hunt, Shark and Life Below Zero.Weiland said: “With an increased investment into new and premiere content, we are confident that BBC Earth will strike a chord with viewers in Asia.”
Mozart in the JungleAmazon Prime Instant Video is to make its original content available in the High Dynamic Range (HDR) format in Europe for the first time.Amazon is launching HDR TV on its Prime Instant Video services in the UK, Germany and Austria, as well as the US, where it made content available on the Samsung SUHD range of TVs in June.In the UK, Amazon will debut its original series Mozart in the Jungle and the pilot of soon to launch Red Oaks in the HDR format. The complete first season of comedy Mozart in the Jungle will be the first series available in HDR, with other titles to follow this year.Amazon Prime members will be able to watch both Mozart in the Jungle and Red Oaks in HDR via the Amazon Video app on Samsung SUHD TVs.“It’s been a great year for Mozart in the Jungle. Now, having the first season available for fans in an upgraded visual experience is exciting—the enhanced quality makes every scene look even better and we hope it’s something that our viewers really enjoy,” said Roman Coppola, writer and director of the series.“HDR provides a truly stunning visual experience and we’re excited that our original series, Mozart in the Jungle and the pilot episode of Red Oaks are the first titles to be made available in the unmatched picture quality,” said Jay Marine, Vice President Amazon Instant Video EU. “We can’t wait for Prime members to watch and re-watch these titles, and look forward to adding even more in HDR for all our customers to enjoy this year.”
Jakob Mejlhede AndersenModern Times Group (MTG) is adding an electronic sell through (EST) option to Viaplay, allowing users to watch new-release films on the Nordic streaming service.MTG said that EST lets viewers stream and download movies a few months after they are released in cinemas, with the final Hunger Games film, Mockingjay Part 2, and the latest James Bond movie, Spectre, to be among the first titles on the store.“Digital downloads and streaming are rapidly replacing the physical disc. Globally this is a multi-billion dollar business moving online very fast, with digital expected to be as big as physical sales within a few years,” said Jakob Mejlhede Andersen, executive vice-president and MTG head of programming and content development.“The new EST window means that Viaplay subscribers can watch their favourite new movies on all devices shortly after theatrical release. Viaplay is already a unique service and this new launch adds yet another fantastic entertainment window for Viaplay customers.”EST will be available on Viaplay throughout the Nordic region from today for registered account holders. The new option builds on Viaplay’s existing subscription and transactional video on demand offerings.
Christophe SonzogniFrance-based video distribution and TV on-demand specialist Hubee has named Christophe Sonzogni as head of sales and marketing.Sonzogni will be part of the management team with Frédéric Pie, hubee’s Chairman and Founder, Jean-Sébastien Petit (co-founder of Smartjog and former COO of Arkena/TDF), Chief Executive Officer, and Colin Gruia (former CEO of Wiztivi and CTO of Molotov.tv), Chief Technology Officer.Sonzogni previously worked in marketing and sales positions for companies including Real Networks, Wiztivi and MPO-Ipercast. At Hubee he will be responsible for managing the sales and marketing team, and rolling out new innovative products and services, with a particular focus on the international market.“I have followed hubee since its inception. The company has now reached a pivotal point in its development, and Frédéric Pie has built up a strong team to successfully navigate this new stage. I am delighted and very proud to be part of this new adventure alongside Frédéric, a serial digital entrepreneur success story,” said Sonzogni.
Hulu is rolling out profiles to its 12 million subscribers in a move that it said would offer an “even more personal TV experience”.The company said that “nearly every touchpoint on Hulu” will now be personal to the viewer – including the masthead, homepage, recommendations and user Watchlist.“TV is very personal and we know people share their Hulu with spouses, kids and family members,” said Hulu. “The next step in creating the most personal TV experience is introducing profiles.”Each individual profile will have its own name, personal info, viewing history, recommendations and Watchlist, while a new Kids profile will also filter out unsuitable content for young viewers.Hulu started to roll out profiles to a small subset of viewers at the end of last week and said that it will continue to rollout the feature to more viewers across more devices in the next few weeks.
Sylvain MerleMedia services outfit Globecast has named BeIN Media Group technical director Sylvain Merle as its new chief technology officer, effective immediately.In his role as CTO, Merle will take on responsibility in ensuring that the company’s technical and economic approach with clients is aligned with the latest industry developments.Prior to working for Middle East pay and free TV outfit BeIN Media, Merle had senior technical positions at companies including Fox International Channels, TV5Monde, and Thomson Broadcast Systems.His duties at Globecast will include managing skill centers, developing strategic partnerships and contributing to technological advances such as IT architecture and storage, headends, WAN, LAN and CDN Networks.“Globecast is excited to welcome Sylvain as the newest member of our forward-thinking team. He brings a wealth of industry knowledge and leadership skills to his new post including 25 years’ experience in broadcast architecture, OTT, nonlinear distribution, transmission, IPTV and IT. With such an impressive background, I know he’ll be an incredible asset to our business so we can continue to deliver the high value that our clients have come to expect,” said Globecast CEO Philippe Bernard.“I’m delighted to become part of the team at Globecast, which is a company with a broad vision and a strong portfolio. In my new role, I’m committed to helping ensure that our customers are fully aware of the value we offer, and I’m looking forward to engaging with the industry to deliver a strategy that’s successful for everyone,” said Merle.
Timotheus HöttgesDeutsche Telekom is considering launching a standalone OTT TV product in Germany, according to Tim Höttges, the company’s CEO.Speaking to analysts after Telekom released its full-year results, Höttges said that the company was “more and more considering a TV-only product, delivered over-the-top and via apps” that would be consumable via mobile devices.Referring to Telekom’s mainstream Entertain pay TV offering, Höttges said that Deutsche Telekom still has “a way to go on the TV side” in terms of delivering accelerated subscriber growth, despite an improved performance in the last quarter.Höttges said that Telekom aimed to be an aggregator of content rather than invest significantly in exclusive rights. He said that Telekom would invest in added functionality both in its fixed and mobile TV services.The telco’s year-end results saw it add 61,000 TV customers in its domestic German market the final quarter, taking its total to 2.879 million across both IPTV and satellite platforms, up 7.3% year-on-year. Höttges said that the company’s new TV platform was helping to deliver accelerated growth in fixed broadband subscribers.“We have seen an increase in TV adds. That’s definitely the case, but we want see more progress made with our new TV platform,” Höttges told analysts.Höttges said that Telekom wanted to “create money” from the TV service as well as increasing numbers, and had introduced new services such as restart and catch-up TV as well as investing in long-tail sports content like hockey and women’s football.CFO Thomas Dannenfeldt meanwhile said that Telekom’s launch of a mobile TV offering as a free service for Magenta Eins converged customers was intended to get customers using mobile data, in line with the company’s decision to increase the data volumes available to customers for the same price.Telekom’s mobile TV service added 100,000 subscribers in the fourth quarter.Telekom’s international European markets had 4.05 million TV customers at the end of the year, up 3.7% year-on-year. The company provides TV services in countries including Hungary, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Greece and Romania.Overall, Telekom posted revenues of €73.1 billion for the year, up 5.6%, and adjusted EBITDA of €21.4 billion, up 7.6%.
Sky Deutschland has struck a deal with sports streaming network DAZN to provide its service in sports bars services by Sky.The Sky Sportsbars service will be able to broadcast live sports content from DAZN in Germany and Austria, supplementing Sky’s existing offer for bards and restaurants, which includes Bundesliga and UEFA Champions League football as well as handball, tennis and golf.DAZN’s line-up of content includes the top matches from the UEFA Champions League and Europa League football tournaments for the next three years. DAZN also holds rights to English Premier League and Spanish La Liga football, as well as live WTA tennis and NBA basketball.Sky will provide bars receiving its service with two additional exclusive linear channels including up to 14 hours of DAZN content daily.Paul Sexton-Chadwick, senior vice-president of Sky Business Solutions, said that the deal strengthened Sky’s position as a partner for the hospitality industry.