Category: qephxthzd

Childs leads BYU over Pacific 69-59

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPROVO, Utah (AP) — Yoeli Childs had 19 points and 13 rebounds to lift Brigham Young to a 69-59 win over Pacific on Saturday night. Roberto Gallinat had 15 points for the Tigers (13-13, 3-8). Anthony Townes added 13 rebounds. Jahlil Tripp had 10 rebounds. Tags: BYU Cougars Basketball/WCC/Yoeli Childs February 9, 2019 /Sports News – Local Childs leads BYU over Pacific 69-59 Associated Presscenter_img The Cougars improve to 2-0 against the Tigers for the season. Brigham Young defeated Pacific 90-87 on Jan. 3. Brigham Young matches up against San Diego on the road on Thursday. Pacific matches up against Santa Clara on the road next Saturday. Written by Connor Harding had 13 points for Brigham Young (16-10, 8-3 West Coast Conference). TJ Haws added seven assists.last_img read more

Russia: Navy Contributes Much to Anti-Piracy Mission

first_img Russia: Navy Contributes Much to Anti-Piracy Mission View post tag: Mission Russian warships deployed in regions of pirate attacks near the Horn of Africa and the Gulf of Aden have significantly contributed to reducing number of captured merchant vessels, and proved effectiveness of measures taken by Russian defense ministry and Russian Navy command to secure commercial shipping.International Maritime Bureau (IMB) reports that in 2011 pirates managed to capture almost half as many vessels as in 2010 (28 and 49 respectively). Such reduction is a result of preventive actions of warships, more effective maneuvering, and presence of security guards on board which has been a sort of deterrent, explained Pottengal Mukudan, the head of IMB.In 2011, Russian warships maintaining security of commercial shipping in the Gulf of Aden and near the Horn of Africa have escorted over 30 convoys with 168 vessels of different classes flying flags of 27 countries. Sixty two ships had Russian sailors on board. Russian Navy’s anti-piracy units have provided security for 448 Russian citizens. Russian Navy dispatched following assets for anti-piracy activities in 2011:– Pacific Fleet (PF) task unit consisting of large ASW ship Admiral Vinogradov, tanker Pechenga, and rescue tug SB–522; – Russian Navy task unit consisting of large ASW ship Severomorsk (Northern Fleet), tanker Yelnya (Baltic Fleet), and seagoing tug MB-304 (Black Sea Fleet); – Pacific Fleet (PF) task unit consisting of large ASW ship Admiral Panteleyev, tanker Boris Butoma, and rescue tug Fotiy Krylov.At present, another PF anti-piracy task unit consisting of large ASW ship Admiral Tributs, tanker Pechenga, and seagoing tug MB-37 is on patrol in the Gulf of Aden.[mappress]Naval Today Staff , January 24, 2012 Back to overview,Home naval-today Russia: Navy Contributes Much to Anti-Piracy Mission View post tag: Russia View post tag: News by topic Share this article January 24, 2012center_img Training & Education View post tag: Contributes View post tag: Navy View post tag: much View post tag: Anti-Piracy View post tag: Navallast_img read more

Pulling Back the Curtain: Electoral College members revealed by Paul Mills

first_imgEven though I’m no Sherlock Holmes I thought I’d have an easier time figuring out their names. My amateur sleuthing – aided by Google – led nowhere. It took three days of persistent efforts including several direct inquiries to the Secretary of State’s Office to obtain the identities of the slates of each party’s current Presidential Electors in Maine.These are the candidates – four from each party – some 750-thousand Maine voters will in effect be choosing as their proxies to vote for president even though their names are conspicuously absent from the ballot.To set the stage for this, each party nominates four presidential electors, one for each of the two congressional districts and two at large. Those who are “elected” will be those whose party’s candidate wins the popular vote in the area they represent.Maine law – like that in 31 other states and DC – ostensibly binds the electors to vote for the candidate who wins the popular vote.The electors are not necessarily ventriloquist puppeteers. In 2016, nationwide seven electors voted for someone who did not win the popular vote in their jurisdiction. Three others including Democrat David Bright of Dixmont, Maine also attempted to do so by voting for Bernie Sanders instead of Hillary Clinton. When advised, however, of an election law that might make his renegade action a misdemeanor, Bright re-cast his vote for Clinton.Bright is again a presidential elector. He’s not, however, if Former Vice President Joe Biden wins the state-wide balloting, likely to reprise his intriguing gambit but instead is expected to support the party’s nominee.Among the other Democratic electors in Maine this time include 18-year old Jay Philbrick of North Yarmouth. If Biden wins the popular vote in the First Congressional District the incoming Brown University freshman would be, according to research Philbick himself has been able to conduct, the youngest presidential elector in American history.Contacted by this columnist a few days ago, Philbrick observed that even though he considers his role largely symbolic, “I’m proud to take this opportunity to show other young people the need to get involved in politics and help reform our system.”The other two Democratic presidential elector nominees for Maine include Waldo County Commissioner Betty Johnson, who like Bright was also an elector in 2016. She was president of the Maine electoral college that year.Probably the best known of all Democratic electors is Shenna Bellows. The Manchester based state senator now in her second term was the party’s nominee for the U.S. Senate six years ago when she lost to incumbent Susan CollinsOn the Republican side are also several luminaries. Party chair Dr. Demi Kouzounas of Saco, a former president of the Maine Dental Association is among them. As leader of the GOP State Committee for nearly four years she has been in the vanguard of efforts to support President Trump, for whom she hopes to vote should the President win the First District, the area she was nominated to represent.Though the President is considered a long shot to win the First District his chances are seen as stronger in the up state Second District, which he visited last Sunday, hoping to win the District again. If that happens the GOP elector who will be afforded the privilege of voting will be Peter LaVerdiere, a former chair of the Oxford Board of Selectmen, a long time civic leader in Oxford County, and a retired former sales manager for Prudential Financial.The Republican Presidential Electors who would be voting if President Trump is the over-all state-wide winner are two former legislative leaders. They are Josh Tardy of Newport, the former GOP floor leader of the House ten years ago, now one of the state’s leading lobbyists in Augusta and Ellie Espling of New Gloucester, who was the assistant GOP House leader for four years until term limited in 2018.Green, Libertarian and Alliance parties have also qualified for a ballot position for their presidential nominees. Should voting for their candidates deprive any nominee from capturing more than 50-percent then the election in Maine would become subject to ranked choice run-off. If it does it would be the first time in history such a process will have ever been brought to bear for any state’s vote for president.The identity of proposed presidential electors in Maine was not always so elusive. Their names for most of the state’s 200-year history were printed on the ballot itself and voted upon individually. This meant that one could split a ticket between the parties when voting for electors. If that were still the case this year, for example, it would mean that a voter could cast a ballot for Democratic elector Shenna Bellows while at the same time supporting Republican elector Josh Tardy. It’s one reason why some states could historically split their electoral votes between the presidential candidates, especially if a personally popular elector were running pledged to an otherwise less popular presidential nominee.The experience Maine had the last time it voted this way, 1948, illustrates how such an outcome could occur. The elector running on the GOP side, Dixfield attorney Arthur Stowell, captured 1,400 more than were cast for his fellow GOP elector Allen Munroe of Milo. An even greater spread, nearly 2,000 votes, separated two of the Democratic electors, Carmelle Boucher of Lewiston from Myra McLean of Augusta…(All five of the Democratic electors that year were women.)Though the 1948 election in Maine did not give rise to a split verdict the opportunity to reach such a result – in that case, for example, dividing Maine’s electoral vote between the Republican nominee Thomas Dewey and Democrat Harry Truman – did exist.It was an era with less polarization than our own, one in which many voters had a more difficult time making such decisions, torn as one might be between the candidates. Under the system existing in 1948 in Maine, for example, a voter who was perhaps 60 percent of a mind to vote for the GOP choice but 40 percent inclined to vote for a Democrat could split his or her vote by choosing three of the Republican electors and two of the Democrats..In some ways one laments the passage of a time when it was possible to vote in this fashion and when more people felt this way. Today’s divisive climate is enough to arouse a wistful yearning for a balance that was once reflected by such voting methods.Paul Mills is a Farmington attorney well known for his analyses and historical understanding of public affairs in Maine; he can be reached by e-mail at [email protected]last_img read more

Sirius XM’s Jam On To Broadcast Live Sets And Interviews From Mountain Jam

first_imgSirius XM’s Jam On radio station is heading to Hunter Mountain this weekend for the 12th annual Mountain Jam. They’ll be interviewing and broadcasting sets all three days from headlining acts Wilco, Umphrey’s McGee, Gov’t Mule, along with Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats, Jason Isbell, The Chris Robinson Brotherhood, and Gary Clark, Jr.. Also on the schedule for the June 3-5 weekend are Lettuce, Michael Franti & Spearhead, Sister Sparrow & The Dirty Birds, Turkuaz, Nahko & Medicine For The People, and  more.It all starts tomorrow, Friday, at 2:15PM EST with Nahko & The Medicine For The People. Hear it all on Jam On (Ch. 29), and check out the schedule below for air times:last_img

Phish Opens Their Highly Anticipated Gorge Run With Stellar Tease-Filled Performance [RECAP]

first_img“Tweezer”. Boom. There’s scarcely anything that bodes better for a great show to come than kicking things off with this song, one of the heaviest hitters in Phish’s arsenal. And there’s scarcely anything that bodes better for a memorable run than a Reprise-less Tweezer on night one—but we’ll get back to that…This “Tweezer” boldly swung for the fences early, flowing quickly out of the composed section and into type-II territory against the backdrop of a breathtaking Gorge sunset. After 10+ minutes, the band segued into “Sample In A Jar”, moving through the first set staple without incident before opting for the Mike-sung “The Old Home Place”, the old ditty by country and bluegrass icons The Dillards not seen since 6/28/12 (155 shows).The “Wolfman’s Brother” that followed served as a sort of consolation for the version of the song that was aborted due to sound issues last weekend in Mansfield, featuring a funky, guitar-driven blues jam that built to a huge peak. The band continued with standard first frame fare like “Bouncing Around The Room”, a particularly strong “Undermind”, and “Kill Devil Falls”, highlighted by stellar percussion work from Fishman (a common thread throughout the show). “Lawn Boy” was next, giving the Chairman of the Boards a chance to welcome everyone to the beautiful locale (“We couldn’t be happier to be here, we love this place so much”).After a brief introduction, where Trey cheekily described the newest Fishman-penned song as potentially “the greatest song ever written” (or at least the truest, according to the drummer), Fish went into “Ass Handed”, the evening’s lone debut. Calling this a “song” at all may even be a little generous—it’s essentially just a chant with a couple chords tacked on the end, barely a minute long. Some people are gonna hate on this one for sure, but I maintain that it shows the band is having fun. I like it–it’s weird, in the best possible way. Next up was another Fishman song, “Party Time”, followed up by textbook versions of “The Line”, new original “Tide Turns” and “Rift”, before a raging tension-and-release “Walls of the Cave” brought the set to a close.The second set got moving quickly with a high-energy take on fan favorite cover “Crosseyed and Painless” that started in a hard-driving groove and quickly pivoted to major key bliss before dropping into beloved instrumental “What’s The Use?”. A rarity for most of its existence, “What’s The Use?” has experienced a sort of renaissance in the last year, acting as a frequent landing point coming out of improvisation. With its soaring peaks and tear-jerking dynamics, we can only hope that this tune stays in heavy rotation.The rest of the set showcased a band that’s fully locked-in, with tight playing and creative, entertaining teases and quotes throughout. The funky “No Men In No Man’s Land” that came next (seemingly a nod to the remote location of the show) was led by a Page-led speed-funk jam that touched on “Crosseyed” and toyed with the “Stash” theme before segueing into the song proper. The “Stash” jam reached a Santana-esque guitar peak and flirted with “What’s The Use?” before giving way to the second Friday “Ghost” in as many weeks. The “Ghost” jam was undoubtedly a highlight of the show, moving quickly into ambient improv territory with “Crosseyed” and “Whats The Use?” teases thrown in the mix. About 7 minutes in, Fishman kicked the drumbeat into high gear, Mike and Page joined him on drums, and Trey picked up the Marimba Lumina mallets (as he loves to do) for a full-band percussion jam that flowed into a “NMINML” breakdown, led by Fish’s unhinged vocals.The show’s “fourth quarter” continued to showcase the band’s focused improv and setlist flow, as a slow “Chalkdust Torture” (“NMINML”, “Crosseyed”, and “WTU?” teases) segued into “Meatstick”, which gave way to the always-satisfying space-funk dance party that is “2001” (“Crosseyed”, “NMINML” teases), which led, finally, into a rocking “Cavern” (“Crosseyed” tease) to close out one of the best shows of the summer (and one of the strongest the band has ever played at this storied venue).The Story Of The Gorge: How A Broken Dam & Attempted Winery Created The Gorgeous AmphitheatreAt this point, after a show that saw the band sounding loose, creative, and energized, the encore was just going to be gravy. We’d get something quick to start, and round it out with a big ol’ Tweeprise—the greatest 5 minutes in rock and roll—to send us into night 2. The band, however, had other plans. The tour debut of their classic 420-friendly tune “Makisupa Policeman” came first (Keywords: “I like this song a lot…pot), likely as a nod to Washington’s legal marijuana situation. Instead of the expected Tweeprise, the band opted for “Wilson”, into a cover of Led Zeppelin’s “Good Times, Bad Times” to close out Night 1. The band doesn’t often play a “Tweezer” without a “Reprise”, but when they do it’s because they’ve been planning, and have a few tricks up their sleeve. It was abundantly clear throughout the second set (with its endless teases and segues) that Phish was in the zone, putting concerted effort into making this a cohesive, inventive set. Holding off on the “Reprise” shows that the band is understandably viewing this weekend’s two-night run at one of the world’s most beautiful places as a special event. “Tweezer” opened the amazing first half of the weekend to great effect, and whatever tonight’s show holds, my bet is that they break out the Tweeprise for tonight’s Gorge finale, book-ending what is sure to be a run we remember for years to come. Tonight can’t get here soon enough.Setlist: Phish at The Gorge Amphitheatre, George, WA – 7/15/16Set 1: Tweezer > Sample in a Jar, The Old Home Place, Wolfman’s Brother, Bouncing Around the Room, Undermind, Kill Devil Falls, Lawn Boy, Ass Handed[1], Party Time, The Line, Tide Turns, Rift, Walls of the CaveSet 2: Crosseyed and Painless > What’s the Use? > No Men In No Man’s Land -> Stash > Ghost[2] -> No Men In No Man’s Land -> Chalk Dust Torture > Meatstick > Also Sprach Zarathustra > CavernEncore: Makisupa Policeman[3] > Wilson > Good Times Bad Times[1] Debut.[2] Trey on Marimba Lumina; Mike and Page on percussion.[3] Keyword = “pot.”Notes: This show featured the debut of Ass Handed. The Old Home Place was played for the first time since 6/28/12 (155 shows). NMINML contained C&P quotes. Stash contained a What’s the Use? tease. Ghost contained C&P and What’s the Use? teases, and NMINML quotes. Ghost also featured Trey on Marimba Lumina, and Mike and Page on percussion. CDT contained yet more NMINML, C&P, and WTU? teases. 2001 contained C&P quotes and NMINML teases. Cavern contained C&P quotes and a WTU? tease. The Makisupa keyword was “pot.”Photography by Jordan IngleeInstagram: @visualsuplex  Load remaining imageslast_img read more

Slavery’s lost lives, found

first_imgIn the early 1970s, historian Richard Dunn ’50 tasked himself with a nearly impenetrable intellectual inquiry: to compare the conditions, trends, and quality of life in slave communities in the United States and the Caribbean during the 18th and 19th centuries.During the next 40 years, Dunn, the Roy F. and Jeanette P. Nichols Professor Emeritus of American History at the University of Pennsylvania, meticulously researched the broad arcs and reconstructed the fine details of the operations and lives of more than 2,000 slaves at Mesopotamia, a sugar estate on Jamaica’s western coast, and at Mount Airy, a tobacco and grain plantation in tidewater Virginia. The result is a richly drawn portrait that offers scholars a rare longitudinal view of bondage and its effect on families, as seen through the family trees of two enslaved women, Sarah Affir of Mesopotamia and Winney Grimshaw of Mount Airy.Sifting through an unusually large cache of missionary diaries and records, including slave inventories kept by Mesopotamia owners, the Barham family, and the Tayloe family, who owned Mount Airy, Dunn was able to document the final three generations of slaves at the two plantations before slavery ended in both places.Harvard President Drew Faust, who studied with Richard Dunn as a graduate student at Penn in the early 1970s, introduced the author at the Faculty Club. Jon Chase/Harvard Staff Photographer“I’ve had a good deal of experience of writing history from the top down. But now, I’m trying to write history from the bottom up, with almost no personal documentation, so I had to figure out other ways of trying to bring people to life,” said Dunn of the difficulties he faced.Dunn spoke Feb. 5 during a talk at the Harvard Faculty Club about his book “A Tale of Two Plantations: Slave Life and Labor in Jamaica and Virginia,” recently published by Harvard University Press. He was introduced by Harvard President Drew Faust, a Civil War historian who studied with Dunn as a graduate student at Penn in the early 1970s.Dunn’s early strategy was to find two sets of plantation workers who would represent population loss-and-gain trends, settling on Mesopotamia and Mount Airy because they maintained extensive records, keeping lengthy slave inventories over the years that documented the names, ages, genders, health, and occupations of workers from year to year. “Cobbled together, you get the outline of a life,” he said.Overall, the paperwork helped Dunn track 1,103 slaves at Mesopotamia between 1762 and 1833, the year before slavery ended in Jamaica, and 973 slaves at Mount Airy between 1789 and 1863.His work grew more complex as he got deeper into the research, but he held fast to two “tightly intertwined” goals. “First, [the research] compares slave life on two plantations … and I do this comparison in order to demonstrate the huge differences between the British Caribbean and the U.S. slave systems,” said Dunn. “My second goal is to demonstrate the impact of demography — drastic population loss in the Caribbean; vigorous population growth in North America — among the enslaved black people who lived in those two regions.”The brutal physical labor required of Mesopotamia’s sugar cane fields led to high death rates among men, while malnourishment and disease contributed to consistently low birthrates for women, unlike the population explosion that went on at the Mount Airy plantation.Overall, the paperwork helped Dunn track 1,103 slaves at Mesopotamia between 1762 and 1833, the year before slavery ended in Jamaica, and 973 slaves at Mount Airy between 1789 and 1863. Jon Chase/Harvard Staff Photographer“The Mesopotamia slaves were victimized by continuous disease and death, while the Mount Airy slave families were routinely ripped apart” and sold off at great profit, or shipped out of state to serve the Tayloe family’s growing cotton interests in Alabama, a capricious practice and a “shocking abuse,” Dunn said.“What we have here is ‘Uncle Tom’s Cabin’ writ large — that is, the same kind of damage that made that romantic novel so gripping,” said Dunn. “And I feel that that kind of manipulation is really just about as bad as working them to death, which is what happened in Mesopotamia.”Henry Louis Gates Jr., the Alphonse Fletcher University Professor and director of the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research, noted that Dunn’s work, in addition to providing important scholarly insights, offers vital new genealogical information to the many African-American descendants of these particular slave populations. Typically, African-Americans are not able to trace their family histories much earlier than the 1870 U.S. Census because of a lack of record keeping during slavery, said Gates, who also hosts the PBS television program “Finding Your Roots.”While comparative, Dunn said the book doesn’t proclaim one plantation system as less cruel than the other.last_img read more

Odds & Ends: Sunset’s Glenn Close on Stopping the Show & More

first_img Star Files Here’s a quick roundup of stories you may have missed today. Sunset Boulevard’s Glenn Close on Stopping the ShowIt’s as if the three-time Tony winner never said goodbye in London right now! Glenn Close is about to reprise her Tony-winning role of Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard at the English National Opera and she recently spoke with Good Morning Britain about the upcoming limited engagement. Along with revealing why she “stopped the show once in Sunset Boulevard,” she also adorably admitted that she sleeps with a teddy bear. The semi-staged production, with the full ENO orchestra, will run April 1 through May 7 and officially open on April 4 at the London Coliseum. Samuel Barnett Lands Dirk GentlyTwo-time Tony nominee Samuel Barnett (Twelfth Night, The History Boys) will star as the titular holistic detective in BBC America’s Dirk Gently, opposite Elijah Wood as his unenthusiastic assistant Todd. Deadline reports that the eight-episode series is based on Douglas Adams’ Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency novels and will be penned by Max Landis. The project is scheduled to bow in fall 2016.Tributes Pour in for Patty Duke & James NobleSome sad news now. Patty Duke, who won an Oscar at age 16 for her role of Helen Keller in The Miracle Worker, which she had originated on the Great White Way, died at the age of 69 on March 29, according to NBC news. Along with playing identical cousins in her own sitcom, she also appeared on Broadway in Isle of Children and Oklahoma!. And James Noble, best known for his work on hit 1980s sitcom Benson, died on March 28 in Connecticut at the age of 94, the New York Times reports. His Main Stem credits included The Runner Stumbles, 1776 and Strange Interlude.Idina Menzel Tapped for Tribeca Film FestivalSwitching gears, if screlting “Let It Go,” with Idina Menzel isn’t your thing, the Broadway supernova is helpfully providing other options. The Tony winner is set to take part in this year’s Tribeca Film Festival; she will appear in the (open to the public) Storytellers series at the SVA Theater 1 Silas on April 18. Or you could do both. Glenn Closecenter_img View Comments Glenn Closelast_img read more

Tax Reform May Slow Renewable Deals in U.S.

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Bloomberg:PosiGen Inc. was close to finalizing terms on a $100 million financing deal. Then Congress passed President Donald Trump’s tax-reform plan.“We just lost $100 million in tax equity last week,” Thomas Neyhart, chief executive officer of the Louisiana rooftop solar installer, said in an interview.PosiGen is one of many companies that are suddenly facing a new financing reality because of the tax overhaul, especially clean-energy developers seeking tax-equity deals. At least $3 billion in potential deals are on hold for this type of financing, according to John Marciano, a Washington-based partner at law firm Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP. Some investors have exited or are sidelined, while others are considering repricing their transactions.Tax equity is a critical but esoteric source of renewables financing—totaling about $12.2 billion in 2016, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. There were about 35 tax-equity investors last year, according to JPMorgan Chase & Co. While solar and wind projects are typically eligible for federal tax credits, many don’t owe enough to the government to take full advantage. Instead, they turn to banks, insurance companies and some big technology firms that monetize the credits through tax-equity investments.Because the law reduced the corporate rate from 35 percent to 21 percent, companies will have fewer liabilities and therefore less need to find ways to reduce their bills. Further, there are provisions in the law that may constrain some multinational companies’ ability to do deals.The result: a market that’s poised to “tighten,” said John Eber, a Chicago-based managing director at JPMorgan, on a webinar Thursday hosted by law firm Norton Rose Fulbright LLP. Tax-equity investors that remain in the renewables market might “moderate” their contributions, he said. More: How Trump’s Tax Plan Made It Harder to Finance Renewables Tax Reform May Slow Renewable Deals in U.S.last_img read more

Debt woes threaten Australia’s newest coal-fired power plant

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享The Australian:One of the major owners of the Bluewaters Power Station, Sumitomo, is understood to have hired restructuring firm Houlihan Lokey as a debt repayment deadline approaches for the asset, which owes $400m.Houlihan Lokey, which counts Australian restructuring expert Jim McKnight in its ranks, is now one of a raft of advisers around the situation.McGrath Nicol is working with the lenders, along with law firm G+T, while Japanese bank MUFG is working as the financial adviser to the Bluewaters company. Law firm Clayton Utz is also working for Sumitomo.Debt is due in August, and the challenge will be finding funding at a time that banks are shying away from coal-fired power stations.The power station, 4.5km northeast of Collie in Western Australia, was built by Griffin Energy in 2009. Owners include 50 per cent shareholder Sumitomo of Japan and Japanese power utility Kansai Electric. It has generation capacity of about 430 megawatts.Some observers say the owners may have to stump up equity to ensure it continues to operate.[Bridget Carter]More: Debt deadline nearing for Bluewaters owner Sumitomo Debt woes threaten Australia’s newest coal-fired power plantlast_img read more

Senate Judiciary takes up court funding issues

first_img Senate Judiciary takes up court funding issues Senior EditorA vital and important program, such as providing guardians ad litem for children involved in court cases, may still not be an essential court function, a Florida Senate panel has been told.The Senate Judiciary on January 21 discussed definitions and needs of the state trial courts as the state prepares to take over more funding of those courts by July 1, 2004, pursuant to a 1998 constitutional amendment.Committee Chair Sen. Alex Villalobos, R-Miami, said his committee would be working with the appropriations subcommittee chaired by Sen. Rod Smith, D-Gainesville, which is overseeing the funding shift. Smith also serves on the Judiciary Committee.“His committee is going to divide the money, and this committee is going to come up with definitions,” Villalobos said. “This has never been done before, and it’s very important that we are heading in the same direction.. . . We need to come up with definitions of what state responsibility is.”Sixth Circuit Judge Susan Schaeffer, chair of the Supreme Court’s Trial Court Budget Commission, testified at the meeting, noting that groups have been working to define vital court functions. “What we would, as that committee, do this year is specify and write in legislation what the essential elements of the court are,” she said. “We would like for you to establish a process for determining a state requirement [for funding the courts] versus the local options.. . . We’re still going to have to go to the counties for much of our money.”The committee’s discussions made it clear how difficult and touchy the process is likely to be.Villalobos noted the committee will be hearing from court clerks, counties, and other interested parties who will have divergent views on what essential functions are. And how hard will determining those be? Well, consider guardians ad litem.“What we are going to ask you to fund at the state level are those things that the courts believe are essential elements,” Schaeffer said. “If it’s a nonadjudicatory function, if it doesn’t help move the case from beginning to conclusion, then that can be an ‘integrated’ function.”Several programs that would be defined as integrated, and moved out of the court system’s budget in the funding transfer, she said are “delinquency diversion programs, child advocacy centers, guardians ad litem, drug treatment and testing.”Villalobos added, “We’re not saying they aren’t great ideas, but the question is should they be part of the courts and should the state pick up the funding.”But Sen. Skip Campbell, D-Tamarac, said he was concerned with classifying as nonessential the representation for children. “I’m not sure I necessarily agree with that evaluation,” he said. “Rather than the court system coming to us and saying we don’t really need this, they should come and say, we need this and point out ways of funding it to make it continue.”Schaeffer replied that the budget commission wasn’t saying that the guardian program wasn’t important, only that it was not an essential part of court operations.Added Smith, “The courts have never suggested we not fully fund guardian ad litem. What they have suggested is that it is not a court function.”Campbell, though, warned that he was concerned that those “nonessential” programs would lose state funding and be passed along to counties as an unfunded mandate.During the debate, Schaeffer presented the list of what the courts consider essential. It had been approved unanimously by the Trial Court Budget Commission, as well as all 20 circuit chief judges. Those include:• Keeping special masters and hearing officers for certain types of cases, and using alternative dispute resolution such as mediation and arbitration. Schaeffer said special masters and hearing officers can handle all of certain types of cases, such as child support, guardianship, family court, and Baker Act cases. Dropping those services would mean judges would have to spend more time handling those cases. And mediation adjudicates the cases, finally, without a judge spending much time, and generally at the parties’ expense, she said.• Funds for expert witnesses, investigators, and court reporters. Schaeffer said cases can’t proceed if public defenders and state attorneys don’t have money to investigate cases, consult experts, and use court reporters. She said the Trial Court Budget Commission thinks each agency should be in charge of its expenditure for those items.• Maintaining court administration for each circuit. Although some legislators have argued that court administrators are duplicating services already provided by clerks, Schaeffer disagreed. Clerks, she said, provide case maintenance — receiving, time-stamping, and filing documents — while court administrators do case management. As an example, Schaeffer said if a couple files pro se for divorce, it used to come straight before the judge, who would have to instruct the couple of forms that had to be filled out. Sometimes two or three hearings were required before the paperwork was done. Now a court staffer can go through the file and make sure all the documents are there and in order before the case goes to the judge, saving judicial resources, Schaeffer said. It also saves times for the parties.“We feel these case managers are important,” she added. “If you don’t fund them and the counties don’t pick them up, we’ll go back several years. People will have to appear three or four times.”• Adequate staffing, including clerks, for trial court judges. Schaeffer noted the irony of district court of appeal judges have two clerks each and Supreme Court justices having three each so they can review the decisions made by circuit judges, who share one clerk for every three judges. “I can’t imagine cutting that,” Schaeffer said. “We believe that is essential; we’re going to ask you to fund that and we’re going to ask you to fund that some more.”No decisions were made at the meeting, and Villalobos emphasized several times that clerks, counties, and others would all be able to present their priorities. But some hints were given, including on funding, where Villalobos said he may be looking at court filing fees.“The way I would envision this if the state is to reorder that area of law, where the clerk collects the filing fee, the first X amount — let’s use $60 from the filing fee — I think that should go to the state and that will be used to pay for a lot of this stuff,” he said.Villalobos also said he wants to see uniformity in local court programs, such as the qualifications and methods of selecting conflict counsel. “Someone who is arrested in Pensacola should have a lawyer with the same level of minimal expertise as someone arrested in Broward County,” he said.Another concern is that some counties might have domestic violence programs, while others don’t, and people who are arrested for the same offense in difference parts of the state could be treated differently.“We have to have a uniform method to deal with all these things,” Villalobos said. “It’s important for this committee to start defining.” February 15, 2003 Gary Blankenship Senior Editor Regular News Senate Judiciary takes up court funding issueslast_img read more