POLICY AND PUBLIC INTEREST
Ritz Herald 9, Jul 35 secs
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The Ritz Herald
PHOTO CREDIT: Joshua Roberts. A flag flies from the Department of Justice in Washington, U.S., March 24, 2019
Statement from Rochester Hills (MI) Mayor Bryan Barnett

Below is a statement from U.S Conference of Mayors President, Rochester Hills (MI) Mayor Bryan Barnett, on the Trump Administration’s announcement that the 2020 Census will not include a question on citizenship:

“The nation’s mayors were pleased to learn today that the 2020 Census will move forward on time and without the addition of a question on citizenship. An accurate – and timely – Census is essential for the basic operation of cities across the country. As we have long maintained, every person counts.

“The decision to move forward with the 2020 Census now, without the citizenship question, ensures that local funding for essential services, including transit, housing, education and public safety, particularly for our most vulnerable communities, will not suffer from an inaccurate accounting. We look forward to the execution of a 2020 Census that reflects a true picture of cities both large and small.”

The U.S. Conference of Mayors is the official nonpartisan organization of cities with populations of 30,000 or more. There are nearly 1,400 such cities in the country today, and each city is represented in the Conference by its chief elected official, the mayor.


SOURCE U.S. Conference of Mayors

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National Safety Council Releases Top 10 States with Lowest and Highest Rates of Preventable Deaths
The Ritz Herald

Today the National Safety Council released its annual list of states with the lowest and highest rates of unintentional, preventable deathsi, which include poisonings – largely from drug overdoses – car crashes and falls. California has the lowest rate of preventable…

Florida Cities Pay Over $1M In Ransoms
The Ritz Herald

Last week hackers hit the jackpot. They collected more than $1 million in ransomware payments from two municipalities in Florida. Both of the city governments that were victimized decided to pay the ransom hackers demanded to unlock their computers.

Lake City, Florida’s government will pay $460,000 after dealing with a…

Summer Plans Include Visiting Outside the U.S.? Follow These 12 Red Cross Tips to Have a Safe Trip
The Ritz Herald

Do your summer plans include international travel? If you will be driving across a border or flying or sailing to a foreign country, the American Red Cross has some steps you can take to help stay safe.

  1. Print a copy of your passport, important phone numbers and travel information…
American College of Surgeons Opposes the Lower Health Care Costs Act
The Ritz Herald

The American College of Surgeons (ACS) opposes the Lower Health Care Costs Act of 2019, introduced by Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA). This legislation would utilize insurer-dictated federal payment rate setting as a go-around to addressing the…

Dr. Barbara Van Dahlen to Lead New White House Task Force to End Veteran Suicide
The Ritz Herald

The Board of Directors of Give an Hour, a national nonprofit that provides free mental health services to those in need including our service members, veterans, their families and other at-risk groups, is proud to announce that the White House, in partnership with the Department…

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PHOTO CREDIT: The United States Capitol in Washington, D.C.
The Ritz Herald
MJAC brings together 45 civil society, religious, and business leaders from across the United States to advocate for domestic policy issues of common concern

The Muslim-Jewish Advisory Council (MJAC) welcomes the bicameral introduction of a legislative measure to improve hate crimes reporting and governmental responses. The bill was introduced in the Senate as the Khalid Jabara and Heather Heyer National Opposition to Hate, Assaults, and Threats to Equality (NO HATE) Act by Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and its companion legislation in the House by Representatives Don Beyer (D-VA) and Pete Olson (R-TX).

The FBI is required by law to gather data on hate crimes every year, but the information is undeniably inaccurate. Victims inconsistently report hate crimes, and law enforcement is not always equipped to identify crimes as motivated by bias. Reporting by state and local law enforcement is also voluntary, and 87 percent of law enforcement agencies in the latest FBI report did not submit any information. For example, over 90 cities with populations of over 100,000 report zero incidents or do not report at all, including Miami, Newark, Indianapolis, Birmingham, and Las Vegas.

“Too many victims of hate crimes like Heather Heyer and Khalid Jabara go unreported,” said MJAC Co-Chair Farooq Kathwari. “We are grateful to Senator Blumenthal for his leadership in taking on…

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PHOTO CREDIT: Kevin Frayer
The Ritz Herald

CRU’s assessment of EU Emissions Trading post 2021 suggests that prices for CO2 allowances will increase and be held in a higher range.

This Spotlight discusses the outlook for the EU ETS market. CRU’s assessment of EU Emissions Trading suggests that prices for CO2 allowances will increase from the current range and be held at a higher level. The resulting implications of this for affected industries will be explored in subsequent content.

  • The EU Emissions Trading Scheme continues to evolve

The EU Emissions trading scheme (ETS) is the flagship policy for delivering on the EU’s climate pledge to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 20% in 2020 and 40% in 2030, compared with 1990 levels. Until recently, EU ETS allowance prices have been low, remaining range bound between €5–10 /tCO2 for the period 2013–2018. This reflected the existence of a large surplus of excess allowances in the market. (In part, this was a legacy of the financial crisis which lowered economic activity for a sustained period).

At the start of Phase III in 2013, this surplus amounted to around 2.1 billion allowances, roughly equivalent to a year of total emissions under the scheme. Although this glut of excess allowances has been decreasing…

CPSC Acting Chairman Ann Marie Buerkle Announces Withdrawal Of Her Nominations
The Ritz Herald

Today I have notified the White House that I am withdrawing my nominations to serve as Chairman of the Consumer Product Safety Commission and to serve an additional term at the agency. I am grateful for the President’s confidence in me to lead this important agency and to serve…

Brazil Just Got Easier to Visit: Tourist Visa Waived
The Ritz Herald

There’s good news for U.S. travelers heading to Brazil: starting June 17, 2019, you’ll no longer need a visa to visit.

The Brazilian government announced a visa waiver program for citizens of the United States, Canada, Australia and Japan as part of a campaign to continue to increase tourism in…

On International Day of Family Remittances, a reminder that 1 in 9 people globally are supported by funds sent home by migrant workers
The Ritz Herald

Remittances from international migrant workers are expected to rise to over US$550 billion in 2019, Gilbert F. Houngbo, President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), stated today.

In a message released on the occasion of the United Nations’ International Day of Family Remittances (IDFR), observed each 16 June,…

Global Peacefulness Improves for the First Time in Five Years but World Remains Less Peaceful Than a Decade Ago
The Ritz Herald

The 13th edition of the annual Global Peace Index (GPI) report, the world’s leading measure of global peacefulness, reveals that the average level of global peacefulness improved for the first time in five years. However, despite improvement, the world remains considerably less peaceful now than a decade ago, with…

Federal Report Highlights Trend Of Involuntary Institutionalization During And After Disasters
The Ritz Herald

A week before the official start of the 2019 hurricane season, the National Council on Disability (NCD)—an independent federal agency—today released its latest report, titled, Preserving Our Freedom: Ending Institutionalization of People with Disabilities During and After Disasters.

NCD – which advises the President and Congress – examined available data…

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The Ritz Herald
PHOTO CREDIT: Administrative Office of the Courts, 244 Washington St SW, Atlanta, GA

Another U.S. agency fell victim to ransomware and hackers’ demands this week. Hackers used ransomware to infect computers at the Georgia Administrative Office of Courts and demanded a ransom payment. Ransomware blocks users from accessing computer systems or files until a ransom is paid. Officials shut down all court websites as a result.

The ransomware was discovered on Saturday, June 29th. As of this writing (July 3rd), the Administrative Office of the Courts is still offline. The agency maintains court documents, provides computer applications to local courts and publishes guidance on court operations.

Michelle Barclay, a division director for the Administrative Office of the Courts, said that personal information wasn’t compromised because they don’t keep it. She also said that the attack is suspected to have come from a foreign country.

County and state courts are operational but unable to access information provided by the Administrative Office of the Courts. It’s unknown how long it will take to recover from this attack.

Chris Chao, President of Centerpoint I.T. in Atlanta, provides his thoughts:

“After two decades in managed I.T. support, I continue to be amazed at how casually the vast majority of executive leadership approaches I.T. security. There’s a pervasive sentiment that ‘I would never be a target of a cyber-attack.’  Yet many of the same businesses wouldn’t go a day without locking their building door at night or covering their business assets with insurance.”

  • Other Georgia Government Systems Have Been Hacked

This follows other ransomware attacks on Georgia government networks within the…

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Plano And Aguadilla Deemed “Most Livable” Cities In America
Plano Mayor Harry LaRosiliere and Aguadilla (PR) Mayor Carlos Méndez
Court of Appeals Upholds $8 Million Jury Verdict for U.S. Conference of Mayors
The Ritz Herald

On Tuesday, May 7, 2019, the United States Conference of Mayors (USCM) and United States Mayor Enterprises (USME) secured a significant victory in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit. The DC Circuit upheld the $8 million jury verdict previously won in a high-profile federal jury trial…

C. F. Martin & Co. Heads to Washington, D.C., to Advocate for Music Education
The Ritz Herald

Representatives from C. F. Martin & Co.® will travel to Washington, D.C., on Monday, May 20, to advocate for all children to have access to quality, comprehensive school music education programs. C. F. Martin IV, CEO, and Cindy McAllister, Director of Intellectual Property and Community/Government Relations, will join music…

Technological Innovations, Global Partnerships Key To Eliminating Poverty, Hunger
The Ritz Herald

The 3rd annual International Seminar on Global Poverty Reduction Partnerships organized by three Rome-based UN agencies (RBAs) — The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), and the World Food Programme (WFP) — together with the International Poverty Reduction Center…

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PHOTO CREDIT: Casa Alcaldia. City Hall, Aguadilla, Puerto Rico
The Ritz Herald
U.S. Conference of Mayors Announces 2019 City Livability Award Winners at Annual Meeting in Honolulu

Plano Mayor Harry LaRosiliere and Aguadilla (PR) Mayor Carlos Méndez Martínez have been awarded first place honors in the 2019 City Livability Awards Program during The U.S. Conference of Mayors’ 87th Annual Meeting in Honolulu.

The award recognizes mayoral leadership in developing and implementing programs that improve the quality of life in America’s cities, focusing on the leadership, creativity, and innovation demonstrated by the mayors. This year’s winning cities were selected by former mayors from a pool of over 150 applicants.

“Our City Livability Awards Program gives us the chance to celebrate the extraordinary role mayors across the country play in making urban areas cleaner, safer, and more livable,” said Tom Cochran, CEO and Executive Director of the U.S. Conference of Mayors. “We are grateful to Waste Management for its many years of support for the City Livability Awards Program, and for the opportunity to showcase the innovation and commitment of mayors and city governments across the country.”

This is the 40TH year in which cities have competed for the award, which is sponsored by the Conference of Mayors and Waste Management, Inc., the nation’s largest environmental solutions provider.

Susan Moulton, Waste Management’s Senior Director of Public Sector solutions, presented the City Livability…

EDITOR'S

CHOICE

NYU Langone Health Launches New Center to Study the Drivers and Consequences of the National Opioid Epidemic

/ Jun 28
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, more than 130 people die from opioid overdoses every day across the United States. NYU Langone Health has announced the creation of
Excelligence Learning Corporation Announces Opening Of Its State-Of-The-Art Fulfillment Center
The Ritz Herald

Excelligence Learning Corporation announces the official opening of its Kansas fulfillment center located in the heart of Kansas’ intermodal center: Gardner, Kansas. After conducting a national search for centralization of its fulfillment and manufacturing operations, Excelligence elected to partner with LS Commercial Real Estate and USAA to build out…

Statement: U.S. Conference of Mayors President on Shooting at STEM School Highlands Ranch
The Ritz Herald

Below is a statement by U.S. Conference of Mayors President, Columbia (SC) Mayor Steve Benjamin on yesterday’s shooting at STEM School Highlands Ranch:

“Once again students have been attacked in their school.  This time it occurred in Highlands Ranch, CO, just eight miles from Columbine High School.  One…

Labor Market Continues to Boil, with No Sign of an Employment Slowdown
The Ritz Herald

Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 263,000 in April, making it difficult to argue for an employment slowdown in recent months.

In the past month, most economic releases came out better than expected, suggesting that the US economy will continue to grow above its long-term two percent trend through at…