POLICY AND PUBLIC INTEREST
Peter Duncan 16, Sep 2 mins
2 mins
The Ritz Herald
Wounded Warrior Project (WWP)
Connecting veterans with their benefits has been a cornerstone of the VFW's mission for more than a century

Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) renewed its support of The Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), an organization that fosters camaraderie among United States veterans of overseas conflicts, assists with securing benefits, empowers veterans to have a smoother transition to civilian life, and advocates on behalf of all veterans.

WWP’s $410,000 grant to VFW helps connect post-9/11 warriors to benefits counselors at 23 Benefits Delivery at Discharge (BDD) sites across the country.

“The transition from the military to civilian life can be challenging, but thankfully The Veterans of Foreign Wars have been there to help our nation’s veterans since 1899,” said WWP CEO Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Mike Linnington. “Wounded Warrior Project is proud to partner with the VFW. Their benefits counselors augment our own efforts to help service members navigate the VA’s claims process and access the healthcare benefits they have earned through their service. In 2018, our grant helped VFW service officers in their efforts to file 14,904 claims and secure more than $155 million in benefits for veterans.”

“Connecting veterans with their benefits has been a cornerstone of the VFW’s mission for more than a century, and our work with Wounded Warrior Project allows us to build on this legacy of service to others,” said VFW National Commander William J. “Doc” Schmitz, of Corning, N.Y. “Through the sustained generosity and support of Wounded Warrior Project, our professional advocates are able to help more transitioning service members than ever before, helping to ensure that those who wear the uniform today are connected with the benefits they’ve earned to help foster their post-military success.”

Learn more about how WWP has granted more than $88 million to…

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ASPCA and Wings of Rescue Fly Nearly 200 Homeless Animals in the Path of Hurricane Dorian to Safety
The Ritz Herald

The ASPCA® (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) and Wings of Rescue are collaborating to transport nearly 200 homeless animals at risk of being impacted by Hurricane Dorian to animal shelters outside of the storm’s path. The unowned…

Samaritan’s Purse Airlifts Critical Relief To Hurricane-Battered Bahamas
The Ritz Herald

Samaritan’s Purse is airlifting its DC-8 cargo plane stocked with critical supplies to the Bahamas after Hurricane Dorian pummeled the island—leaving thousands of people without basic necessities. The first planeload includes emergency shelter material, household water filters, and two community water filtration units specially designed to turn saltwater into…

Dorian approaches Florida as a dangerous Category 5 hurricane; FPL is ready to respond and urges customers to remain vigilant
The Ritz Herald

Florida Power & Light Company is urging customers to prepare for power outages as extremely powerful Hurricane Dorian approaches the Florida coastline. The company continues to execute its emergency response plan, pre-positioning workers and equipment in preparation for this Category 5 hurricane off Florida’s coast.

“Hurricane Dorian’s track remains unpredictable…

How to Prepare, Prevent Loss in Path of Hurricane Dorian
The Ritz Herald

On Wednesday, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis declared a state of emergency to give officials enough time to prepare for the storm and urged all Floridians on the state’s east coast to “have seven days of supplies, prepare their homes and follow the track closely.”

To ensure readiness and safety,

FEMA and the Ad Council Launch Public Service Announcement for National Preparedness Month
The Ritz Herald

FEMA and the Ad Council kick off National Preparedness Month with new public service announcements from FEMA’s Ready Campaign that promote the importance of preparing children and teenagers for possible emergencies and disasters.

Involving young people in preparedness efforts can help youth, families, and communities be prepared and able to…

9 mins
A man on an electric scooter makes his way with other pedestrians in New York on July 1, 2015. (Jewel Samad / AFP)
The Ritz Herald
Report Calls for Sugary Drink Taxes, Expanded SNAP and WIC Nutrition Support Programs and a built environment that encourages physical activity to Help Address Health Crisis

Nine U.S. states had adult obesity rates above 35 percent in 2018, up from seven states at that level in 2017, an historic level of obesity in the U.S., according to the 16th annual State of Obesity: Better Policies for a Healthier America report released today by the Trust for America’s Health (TFAH).

The report based in part on newly released data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), and analysis by TFAH, provides an annual snapshot of obesity rates nationwide. The State of Obesity series and this report were made possible by funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Obesity has serious health consequences, including increased risk for type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke, and many types of cancers. Obesity is estimated to increase national healthcare spending by $149 million annually (about half of which is paid for by Medicare and Medicaid) and being overweight or obese is the most common reason young adults are ineligible for military service.

Obesity rates vary considerably between states with Mississippi and West Virginia having the highest level of adult obesity in the nation at 39.5 percent and Colorado having the lowest rate…

3 mins
View down Vesey Street, south side of WTC 7 from W Broadway. Pedestrian bridge in view.
The Ritz Herald
The group made their way to Capitol Hill to meet with several members of Congress, urging them to review the UAF WTC 7 study

On the 18th anniversary of the September 11th attacks, 9/11 first responder Christopher Gioia, a commissioner of the Franklin Square and Munson Fire District in New York, announced the launch of the “Justice for 9/11 Heroes” campaign at a news conference at the National Press Club.

In July, Gioia and the four other commissioners of the Franklin Square and Munson Fire District unanimously approved a resolution calling for a new investigation into the September 11th attacks. Two of Gioia’s fellow commissioners are suffering chronic health effects from working at Ground Zero, and one of the department’s members, Thomas J. Hetzel, who was also a member of the FDNY, was killed in the line of duty that day.

The Franklin Square and Munson Fire District is now spearheading efforts throughout New York State and across the country to unite the fire service behind their call for Congress to reopen the 9/11 investigation. The congressional inquiry they are seeking would be conducted in parallel with the ongoing grand jury investigation initiated by U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Geoffrey Berman.

Gioia was joined at the news conference by Bob and Helen McIlvaine, whose son Bobby was killed…

Economic Development Professionals Named To Investment Advisory Council
The Ritz Herald

Nine prominent economic development leaders, including past and present members of the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) board of directors, were appointed earlier this month by U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross to the Investment Advisory Council (IAC).

IEDC President and CEO Jeff Finkle, CEcD, board member Chris Camacho, and…

Long Island School District Welcomes Students Back To School With Ransomware Attack
The Ritz Herald

The Rockville Centre school district in Long Island, New York was hit with Ryuk Ransomware this summer. The ransomware encrypted files on their server and they had to pay nearly $100,000 to unlock their data.

A neighboring school district in Mineola, Long Island was also hit….

Preliminary Estimates: Motor Vehicle Deaths Projected to Dip Below 40,000 for First Time Since 2015
The Ritz Herald

Preliminary estimates from the National Safety Council indicate the four-year upward trend in motor vehicle deaths that began in 2015 is ebbing, with the number of fatalities in the first six months of 2019 dropping 3 percent compared to the same…

More Than 20 Government Entities in Texas Breached By Ransomware Attack
The Ritz Herald

Texas state officials reported on Friday, August 16th, that at least 20 government agencies throughout Texas were breached. The State is deploying resources to those jurisdictions most seriously impacted, although they didn’t specify where they were due to security reasons.

With assistance from the Texas Military Department and Texas A&M’s…

National Safety Council: International Overdose Awareness Day A Time To Remember, Act
The Ritz Herald

The National Safety Council is calling on Americans to observe International Overdose Awareness Day on Aug. 31 by taking time to remember lost loved ones and acting to prevent overdose. Opioid overdose deaths, in particular, have reached alarming numbers in the U.S. in recent years.

Of…

5 mins
The Ritz Herald
Spencer Platt/Getty Images
None of the family leave bills in Congress are supported by a majority of Americans; many say employers should shoulder the cost
By / Associate Writer

A national poll on the American family released today found that while Americans generally support a national family leave policy, particularly for maternity leave, they don’t want new government programs or changes to Social Security to fund it. The poll also found that of the four family leave bills currently in Congress, none has the support of the majority of Americans.

With paid family leave becoming more of a concern for working parents, the fifth annual American Family Survey looked at who takes family leave, what Americans want and how they feel about the proposed legislation. It also found that lower-income Americans are less likely to have access to paid leave, less likely to return to their same jobs after taking a leave, and more likely to say they would have taken family leave in the past year if it had been available to them.

“Americans, in general, support the idea of paid family leave but differ on how it should be funded,” said Deseret News Opinion Editor Boyd Matheson. “Moreover, few support the current proposed legislation, which would indicate that the bills’ sponsors have an uphill battle. As Congress considers the issue of family leave, the American Family Survey provides some interesting insight into how people view maternity leave, paternity leave and other leaves of absence that support family members.”

The survey found that:

  • Income does not seem to be a barrier to taking family leave, as similar percentages of low-, middle- and high-income Americans say they have recently taken at least a week or more…
FDA Proposes New Required Health Warnings With Color Images For Cigarette Packages And Advertisements To Promote Greater Public Understanding Of Negative Health Consequences Of Smoking
The Ritz Herald

Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a proposed rule to require new health warnings on cigarette packages and in advertisements to promote greater public understanding of the negative health consequences of smoking. The proposed warnings, which feature photo-realistic color images depicting some of the lesser-known, but serious…

At NCD’s Recommendation, All U.S. Dental Schools Will Train Students To Manage Treatment Of People With Intellectual, Developmental Disabilities
The Ritz Herald

As recommended by the National Council on Disability (NCD), all U.S. dental schools must now revamp their curricula and training programs to be inclusive of patients with intellectual and developmental disabilities (ID/DD).

The Council on Dental Accreditation (CODA) recently passed votes requiring dental schools to now train their students in…

Half Of Americans Would Take A Job With No Paid Time Off For A Higher Salary
The Ritz Herald

Half (49 percent) of working Americans would accept a job with no vacation time if they were paid more, according to the 11th annual Vacation Confidence Index* released by Allianz Global Assistance. Millennials (63 percent, compared to 47 percent of Gen X’ers and 32 percent…

3 mins
The 2018 Bloomberg Law Leadership Forum in New York
The Ritz Herald
U.S. Rep. Greg Walden to Highlight Efforts to Pass Federal Data Privacy Law in Keynote Interview

The Bloomberg Law Leadership Forum D.C. will take place in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday, September 18 and will feature policymakers and legal professionals discussing the issues that will shape the privacy and data security landscape in the year ahead. The forum, which takes place in the nation’s capital for the first time, is being held at the Bloomberg Government offices on K Street from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. For a full event agenda and registration information, visit pro.bloomberglaw.com/bloomberg-law-leadership-forum-dc-2019.

The forum kicks off with a keynote panel featuring Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh, FCC Commissioner Geoffrey Starks, BSA President and CEO Victoria Espinel, and Terrell McSweeny, Covington & Burling partner and former commissioner of the FTC, discussing the efforts of the public and private sectors in protecting Americans’ privacy. Other panels include an exploration of emerging and evolving state-level privacy and data security regulations, new international regulations that global businesses must face, and strategies for managing costs to comply with these developments. A keynote interview with Congressman Greg Walden (R-Ore.) will focus on the momentum behind efforts to pass a bipartisan federal data privacy law and his work on privacy issues in his role as ranking…

EDITOR'S

CHOICE

The Salvation Army Positioned to Respond to Hurricane Dorian in Caribbean and Along Eastern U.S.

Duncan / Sep 5
As first responders in the Bahama Islands begin assessing the damage from catastrophic Hurricane Dorian, The Salvation Army is ready to provide assistance and meet the immediate needs of food,
New Poll Reveals California Voters Want the State to Meet Many Challenges Facing Older Adults, Families
The Ritz Herald

An overwhelming majority of California voters support Governor Newsom’s Executive Order calling for a Master Plan for Aging (Master Plan), according to a recent We Stand With Seniors statewide survey. Beyond supporting the plan’s development and examining the top aging-related priorities…

Township of Maplewood, NJ Provides Media Notification of Data Security Incident
The Ritz Herald

The Police Department to the Township of Maplewood, NJ (“Maplewood Township”) is providing notice of suspicious activity that was discovered and remediated from the Police Department network. Upon discovery of the activity, Maplewood Township commenced an immediate investigation into the event, which included working with a leading third-party forensic…

Following Tragic Shootings in El Paso and Dayton, New Report Recommends Wide Range of Actionable Solutions to Reduce Mass Violence
The Ritz Herald

Today, the Medical Director Institute (MDI) of the National Council for Behavioral Health released, “Mass Violence in America: Causes, Impacts and Solutions,” a comprehensive response following recent episodes of mass violence in El Paso, Texas; Dayton, Ohio and Gilroy, California. For the first time, this…