CA lawmakers urged to pass SB 100 for 100% clean electricity by 2045

LOS ANGELES A broad coalition from the public health, environmental justice, environmental, clean tech, business and labor communities gathered at Los Angeles City Hall this week to urge the State Assembly to pass Senate Bill 100 (De León), which will ensure that California generates 100% of its electricity from clean energy sources by 2045.

“We are 100% ready for 100% renewable electricity,” said Michelle Kinman, clean energy advocate with Environment California. “It’s good for our planet, good for our kids, and good for our economy. We must take action now to ensure a clean energy future for California.”

SB 100 has passed theState Senate as well as two key committees in the State Assembly. Now, theAssembly Appropriations Committee and the full Assembly need to vote on it before the legislative session ends for the year on September 15, 2017.

The Los Angeles CityCouncil, which last year directed the Los Angeles Department of Water &Power to work with stakeholders to study how L.A. can achieve 100% clean energy, may lend its support to the bill via a resolution authored by Council member Paul Koretz and seconded by Council members Bob Blumenfield, Mike Bonin, Paul Krekorian, Mitch O’Farrell and David E. Ryu. The resolution will be voted on by the City Council Rules, Elections, andIntergovernmental Relations Committee on Tuesday.

“Climate change is not happening to our children and our grandchildren, it’s happening to us, right here, today, in real time, and, perhaps thanks in part to the fear the Trump administration’s environmental policy has struck into the hearts of human beings across the planet, we are really starting to do something serious about it, ” said Council member Koretz.

"TheWhite House has turned it’s back on renewable energy and environmental justice.However, California will continue to lead our country with a clean environment and thousands of new green jobs by passing SB100. Angelenos need this legislation to pass so we can continue to create healthier neighborhoods for future generations," said Council member Ryu.

“SB 100 and other aggressive clean energy mandates are crucial to advancing the cause of ending our reliance on fossil fuels and inspiring all of us to work together to create a more healthy and equitable economy in Los Angeles and in California,” said Bahram Fazeli, director of research & policy with Communities for aBetter Environment. “We ask the Los Angeles City Council members to unanimously support SB 100.” 

“Moving to 100 percent clean, renewable energy will have significant health benefits inCalifornia,” said Dr. Michael Ong, a volunteer physician with the American Lung Association in California.“By reducing dangerous emissions from power production we can all breathe easier, especially those suffering from lung diseases like asthma and lung cancer.”

“California communities breathe some of the most polluted air in the nation,” said Sara Gersen, clean energy staff attorney with Earth justice. “SouthernCalifornia won't have clean air or a stable climate until we make a complete switch to zero-carbon energy.  We deserve a California free of fossil fuels, and SB 100 will help us get there.”

“Thousands of California health care and public service workers speak with one voice -- we need 100% renewable, pollution-free energy for our public health, for our communities, for our children,” said Keenan Sheedy, Environmental Justice Committee of SEIU 721.

California passed its first clean energy standard in 2002 (Sher). That law required California energy providers to generate 17% of their electricity from renewable sources by 2020.Subsequent bills have ramped up the clean energy standard. SB 350 (De León) was the last clean energy bill to pass, two years ago. It requires that California energy providers generate 50% renewable electricity by 2030.

California utilities are ahead of the current clean energy goals that have been enshrined in law.

“We've been preparing for this moment for years,” said Katya English, organizing representative with the Sierra Club. “Every time we’ve set a stronger goal for clean energy, we've surpassed our own expectations, created more job opportunities and watched our economy grow. It’s time to go all in on clean energy and expand on this strong foundation of success.”

“The Los Angeles Clean tech Incubator understands that smart, forward thinking public policy has accelerated the development of markets for clean technology, especially here in California,” said Michael Swords, VP government relations forLACI. “SB 100 will send an unequivocal message to the market that renewable energy is a huge business opportunity here in California, which in turn will create jobs and attract investment capital to our state.”

A recent report byEnvironment California Research & Policy Center found that California has seen a 2,583% increase in the amount of electricity it gets from the sun and a245% increase in wind power production over the past decade. The report, Renewables onthe Rise, makes the case that the progress we’ve seen in California and around the country on renewable energy and technologies such as battery storage and electric cars should give Californians the confidence that we can take clean energy to the next level.

“In these troubled times, California has the opportunity to lead once again,” said Dan Brotman of SoCal 350 ClimateAction. “Let’s do it now by declaring that the age of dirty electricity is over.”


McDonald’s USA to celebrate Literacy Month with popular children’s books in Happy Meals

Oak Brook, Ill. – In celebration of National Literacy Month in September,McDonald’s USA is inviting families to celebrate the joy of reading with the launch of the latest Happy Meal Books promotion. Happy Meal Books will return to restaurants nationwide from September 5-18 helping spread the gift of reading to families across the U.S.

In celebration of its 200th anniversary, HarperCollinsPublishers, one of the leading publishers of children’s books, is joining forces with McDonald’s USA to bring families a collection of four HappyMeal-sized books featuring popular titles – “Pete the Cat’s Got Class” by JamesDean, “Amelia Bedelia’s First Day of School” by Herman Parish, “Just A SchoolProject” by Mercer Mayer and “If You Take a Mouse to School” by Laura Numeroff.Books are available in English and, in select restaurants, in Spanish.

“HarperCollins is pleased to be part of McDonald’s HappyMeal Books promotion again this year to place beloved books in the hands of millions of children,” says Suzanne Murphy, President and Publisher,HarperCollins Children’s Books. “Reading has a profound impact on the educational development of a child and through this program along with our donation to Reading is Fundamental, we hope to make book ownership for children more accessible.”

McDonald’s is also a proud supporter of Reading isFundamental (RIF), the nation’s largest children’s literacy organization, which seeks to promote literacy by making it easier for children throughout the country to have access to interesting, captivating reading materials. By 2018,McDonald’s will have donated approximately 400,000 books from the Happy MealBooks promotions to RIF literacy efforts and programs across the country.

"McDonald’s partnership with RIF is a celebration of the power and joy of families reading together,' said Beth Meyer, ChiefMarketing Officer of Reading Is Fundamental. “Six out of 10 low-income families still have no age-appropriate books in their homes, so providing children with books coupled with supplemental literacy resources they need to achieve their full potential has never been more important.”

McDonald’s Happy Meal Book promotion is among a list of the company’s actions supporting a commitment to promote children’s well-being by inspiring kids to engage in active and imaginative play in a fun way and help develop a sense of community.

This announcement follows a number of changes McDonald’s has made to its Happy Meal including:

“As we continue to raise the bar for our customers, we’re excited to add to the fun of the Happy Meal experience by inspiring more family time together,” said Julie Wenger, senior director of U.S. marketing atMcDonald's. “We’re proud to partner with HarperCollins and Reading isFundamental and invite families to spread the joy of reading through these fun, classic books in our Happy Meals.”

Research by the American Academy of Pediatrics shows that reading daily to young children stimulates early brain development and helps build key language, literacy and social skills.

HappyMealBooks Social

Through McDonald’s partnership with RIF, families can extend learning after reading “Pete the Cat’s Got Class”, “Amelia Bedelia’s First Day of School”, “Just A School Project” and “If You Take a Mouse to School” throughLiteracy Central. This new, free digital portal, will feature lesson plans, puzzles, activities, and leveled reading passages designed to help build literacy development in children with a focus on the books from the Happy MealBooks program.

For more information about Happy Meal Books, visit www.McDonald’

Drug testing of students ‘preventive, not punitive’ – Briones

MANILA – Education Secretary Leonor Briones promised strict confidentiality in the conduct of the forthcoming random drug testing among high school students.
The Department of Education (DepEd) chief gave the assurance after she was asked about the safety of students who will undergo the drug test following the death of 17-year-old Kian Loyd delos Santos in an anti-drug operations conducted by the Caloocan City police.
DepEd is about to begin the random drug testing of students in September through DepEd Order Number 40, series of 2017. DepEd also ordered the random drug testing of teachers and the mandatory drug testing of all DepEd employees.
“The circular is very, very clear. This is not a punitive law enforcement exercise. It is a preventive exercise. And this was planned as early as last year pa in response to public demand. Now every effort is going to be made to protect the identities of whoever will be identified in the test as related to drugs,” Briones told Rappler on Tuesday, August 22.
She added specific details about the student undergoing the test – their personal information, the name of the schools, and drug test results – will not be publicized.
“And so, you will not even know the school. And we’re not going to have a press conference. The test will not be done under your eye. You will not be interviewing the persons, etcetera, etcetera. The press will not be involved here. The thing is going to be confidential,” said Briones.
“If there will be a leakage, it will probably be from other sectors, not from us. Never, never, never from us because we have strict penalties for release of confidential information,” she added.
Several netizens and lawmakers are concerned over the safety of students undergoing drug tests to be administered in schools after the death of Delos Santos.
The Grade 11 student, labelled by the police as a drug runner, was killed in Caloocan City last week. Cops claim Delos Santos fired the first shots.
But CCTV footage and witnesses said Delos Santos was blindfolded by cops, beaten up, forced to hold a gun, before he was shot by the police. Autopsy results showed he was killed by 3 bullets that entered the back of his head.
Lawmakers already slammed the Commission on Higher Education for allowing colleges and universities to implement mandatory drug testing among students and student applicants. (READ: Mandatory drug tests could lead to ‘tokhang’ in schools, warns students’ union)
Briones said the DepEd will make sure parents of students who will be chosen for the random drug test will be informed about the guidelines for the drug test. A written notice will also be given to the parents.
But failure to return the acknowledgement slip of this notice “shall not be a bar to the conduct of the drug testing and of the said students’ inclusion in the sample.” This means with or without the parent’s consent, a student chosen for the random drug test would have to go through with the procedure.
“Because according to the law, consent is not needed. What is important is that they are informed,” explained Briones.
Still, the DepEd chief said the department order has laid out the necessary safeguards to protect the students.
Students who test positive will undergo confirmatory tests. If these second tests yield another positive result, the students will be referred to a DOH-accredited physician and health facility, where they will be subjected to a drug intervention program.
Briones said drug test results will not be a basis for the school to punish the student. –


A brief message from PABA regarding the recent events in Charlottesville, Virginia

The Philippine American Bar Association (“PABA”) issued the following statement regarding the recent events in Charlottesville, Virginia:
PABA is deeply saddened and horrified by the events that took place in Charlottesville this past weekend. On Friday night, groups of white supremacists and neo-Nazis stormed the University of Virginia with torches, and on Saturday they took to the streets of Charlottesville, spewing hate and violence. By the end of the weekend, one woman was killed, two law enforcement officials died, and many others were injured. The actions taken by these white supremacists and neo-Nazis are shameful and abhorrent, and have no place in a civilized society.
The events in Charlottesville are a grim reminder of the history of exclusion and violence experienced in this country by Asian Americans generally, including Filipino Americans, as a result of anti-immigrant, racist, and xenophobic sentiments, such as the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, anti-miscegenation laws, the Japanese internment, and the deadly anti-Filipino riots in Watsonville, California. Such acts of racism and intolerance should have been condemned then, and we stridently condemn the recent acts in Charlottesville now.
An act of terror targeting any minority group is an act of terror against us all. PABA stands in solidarity with all those whose security and well-being in this country are threatened by these hateful groups. There can be no center ground, and equivocation on these issues is an endorsement of hatred and bigotry. As a result, PABA calls upon President Trump to definitively and unequivocally condemn these hate groups.


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