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Union-ited? Sleepless in San Diego, Gas Prices, Canada: South of the Border, but no cigar?

Long-awaited voice in primary for PA unions, Detroit mayorial saga, San Diego not staying classy, laptops for all, Canada: now south of the border, $4 gas, What happens in AC, stays in AC, and Botswana looking to U.S. for engineers

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Pa. Unions Could Hold The Key For Obama Or Clinton

“Ellen Williams walked down two flights of stairs to answer the door. Before she even got to the landing, she was already telling the canvasser that she’d be voting for Barack Obama — just like the Service Employees International Union wants her to. But she also told the union representative that she holds a place in her heart for Bill Clinton.”

“Pennsylvania is the sixth-largest union state in the country, with 745,000 members in 2006, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. And now that the 2008 primary race islargely centered in the Keystone State, Pennsylvania’s unions have a rare opportunity to influence the future of the Democratic Party.”

“‘I think as we become a more mature and sophisticated society, members of unions have access to much more information than before,’ said Larry Ceisler, a Philadelphia political analyst and former Democratic strategist. Members ‘used to just get something from the unions saying vote this way. Now they see things on the Internet and look at television advertising.’”

Stefani: City changed language to hide secret agreement

“New evidence surfaced today that Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick’s city-paid lawyers purposely kept city council in the dark about a secret agreement to pay $8.4 million in taxpayer money to hide the mayor’s embarrassing text messages.”

“‘They read it and made several changes,’” Stefani said. “‘I know that one of the changes they wanted was instead of saying the ‘entire agreement’ would be approved by the council and the mayor, they wanted it to say the ‘monetary terms’ of the settlement,’” Stefani said.

Further, Kilpatrick’s city-paid lawyer personally demanded that a secret lawsuit settlement be redone to evade a Free Press public records request that would have exposed the mayor’s text messages, Stefani said.

The City Manager Shoe Drops
“Webster was the author of the notorious “EEK” and “Sleepless in San Diego” memos. The “Sleepless” e-mail was the subject of the very first news story in”

“But that same month, despite her insomnia-inducing worries, Webster worked to convince Blue Ribbon Committee members to paint a rosier picture of city finances and excise the “doom and gloom” of the panel’s highly-touted 2002 report that was supposed to candidly assess the city’s financial state, according to internal e-mails.”

“The DA has since charged Webster with illegally maneuvering with colleagues on the city’s pension board to vote on their own benefits. The U.S. attorney has accused her and others of illegally boosting the pension of firefighters’ union president Ron Saathoff. And now the SEC says she and four others committed securities fraud by knowingly withholding those worries about the city’s pension obligations from disclosures made to investors in the city’s bonds.”

Central City is latest to give students Apples

“‘Am I nervous? Darn right I am. We’re spending a good chunk of change,” Superintendent John Dotson said. “But we’ve got to do a better job preparing students so they can keep up with a challenging and changing world.’”

“Officials in Maine recently completed the third year of a four-year, $37.2 million program that provides laptops to 34,000 seventh- and eighth-graders and another 3,000 to their teachers. Students whose progress was measured after the first two years of the program performed about the same on a standardized test as they did before the laptops were introduced.”

“Superintendent Calvin Baker said district officials realized quickly that teachers have to be on board for the concept to work. For example, he said, teachers had to learn how to teach from the back of the classroom so they could monitor students’ computer screens. Maintenance and repair costs were contained, he said, when students took more ownership of their machines.”

Canadian investors snapping up Valley homes

“Matheson is among a growing group of investors from north of the border converging on the Valley’s real-estate market to take advantage of falling home prices and a weak dollar.”

“Last year, 752 Canadian buyers purchased Valley homes, according to the real-estate data firm Information Market. That’s almost double the number in 2006 and even in the boom years of 2004-05. Though Canadians account for only small part of the Valley’s total housing market, their interest is growing, and that’s giving home sales a boost. Through mid-March of this year, 381 buyers from Canada invested in metro Phoenix homes.”

“Bob Hassett of the Paradise Valley office of Russ Lyon Realty said he is getting calls about luxury homes from many Canadians and some Europeans. Florida and East Coast cities are attracting more European buyers, while Arizona is seeing more Canadian investors looking for bargains. The state has long attracted Canadian visitors during the winter. Arizona is second only to Florida for Canadian tourists.”

Will AC Casinos be blowing smoke?

“The 2006 New Jersey law that instituted a smoking ban in all public indoor places included an exception for casinos — where, to be honest, “public health” has never really been top-of-mind. A proposal last year to ban all casino smoking couldn’t withstand strong opposition: the casinos claimed the measure could cost them a fifth of their revenue and cause the elimination of thousands of jobs. It might also improve the “good citizen” reputation of Atlantic City, which would be disastrous for business.”

“A compromise law was enacted in April, 2006, restricting smoking to no more than a quarter of the casino floor, but this came as little relief to casino workers who still have to work in those smog-alert zones. The House still wins.”

“In other words, What happens in the Atlantic City smoking lounge stays in the Atlantic City smoking lounge.”

Gas could hit $3.60 in June

“Drivers beware: Today’s high gasoline prices soon may look like a bargain, because they’re expected to peak at $3.60 a gallon nationwide in coming months, according to a government report released Tuesday.”

“It’s entirely possible, EIA Administrator Guy Caruso said, that gasoline prices could top $4 a gallon during parts of the summer driving period, defined as April 1 to Sept. 30.”

“The primary reason for the high gasoline prices is the record price for crude oil, which settled down 59 cents to $108.50 a barrel in trading Tuesday on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The EIA forecast oil prices above $100 a barrel — something unthinkable a year ago — for the remainder of the year.”

Leading Botswana Energy Exploration Company Selects Capital City Energy Subsidiary to Provide Engineers

“Based in Columbus, Ohio, Capital City is a diversified oil and natural gas company with three separate divisions. Capital City is evolving from being an innovative leader in the design, management and sponsorship of retail and institutional direct participation energy programs to become one of the few vertically integrated independent oil & natural gas companies. Their strategy is to continue to grow a portfolio of core areas which provide growth opportunities through grass-roots drilling, operating, service companies, acquisitions and fund management.”

“‘We are pleased to have been selected for these high-profile exploration and development activities in Botswana,’ said Daniel Coffee, Chief Operating Officer of Capital City. ‘Eastern is quickly developing a reputation for helping emerging energy companies, and we look forward to deploying our team of engineers to the project. With energy prices near record levels, companies both domestically and internationally continue to look for new exploration venues to capitalize on rising demand, making us the ideal partner.’”

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Tags: detroitenergybarack obamainternet accessunionssan diegocasinos

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