Friday, April 28, 2017

Swing, Slide, Have fun. Play safe! Playgrounds Shouldn’t Hurt

" Seesaws, swings and slides! Now that springtime is here, playground season is in full swing. CPSC believes playgrounds should be safe! Far too often however, fun and games at the community playground or on the backyard play set can lead to injuries—and even death.
A new playground equipment report (pdf) was just issued by CPSC and it found that from 2009 to 2014, 19 of the 34 fatal playground incidents that we investigated were the result of hanging or asphyxiation. During that same time period, nearly 1.5 million injuries associated with playground equipment were treated nationally in emergency departments. Annually, that breaks down to about 243,000 ER treated injuries..."
Playground safety

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Presidential Executive Order on Enforcing Statutory Prohibitions on Federal Control of Education

"EXECUTIVE ORDER
ENFORCING STATUTORY PROHIBITIONS ON FEDERAL CONTROL OF EDUCATION
By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, and in order to restore the proper division of power under the Constitution between the Federal Government and the States and to further the goals of, and to ensure strict compliance with, statutes that prohibit Federal interference with State and local control over education, including section 103 of the Department of Education Organization Act (DEOA) (20 U.S.C. 3403), sections 438 and 447 of the General Education Provisions Act (GEPA), as amended (20 U.S.C. 1232a and 1232j), and sections 8526A, 8527, and 8529 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA), as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) (20 U.S.C. 7906a, 7907, and 7909), it is hereby ordered as follows:

Section 1.  Policy.  It shall be the policy of the executive branch to protect and preserve State and local control over the curriculum, program of instruction, administration, and personnel of educational institutions, schools, and school systems, consistent with applicable law, including ESEA, as amended by ESSA, and ESEA's restrictions related to the Common Core State Standards developed under the Common Core State Standards Initiative..."
Federal control of education

National Population by Characteristics Datasets: 2010-2016

"These datasets feature Vintage 2016 population estimates by age. Additional files featuring sex, race, and Hispanic origin detail will be added in mid-2017. Until that time, please refer to Vintage 2015 for the full suite of products by demographic characteristics..".
Population characteristics

Cybersecurity: Critical Infrastructure Authoritative Reports and Resources

"Critical infrastructure is defined in the USA PATRIOT Act (P.L. 107-56, §1016(e)) as “systems and assets, physical or virtual, so vital to the United States that the incapacity or destruction of such systems and assets would have a debilitating impact on security, national economic security, national public health and safety, or any combination of those matters.”

Presidential Decision Directive 63, or PDD-63, identified activities whose critical infrastructures should be protected: information and communications; banking and finance; water supply; aviation, highways, mass transit, pipelines, rail, and waterborne commerce; emergency and law enforcement services; emergency, fire, and continuity of government services; public health services; electric power, oil and gas production; and storage. In addition, the PDD identified four activities in which the federal government controls the critical infrastructure: (1) internal security and federal law enforcement; (2) foreign intelligence; (3) foreign affairs; and (4) national defense..."
Cybersecurity

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act: Background and Summary

"Beginning in 2007, U.S. financial conditions deteriorated, leading to the near-collapse of the U.S. financial system in September 2008. Major commercial banks, insurers, government-sponsored enterprises, and investment banks either failed or required hundreds of billions in federal support to continue functioning. Households were hit hard by drops in the prices of real estate and financial assets, and by a sharp rise in unemployment. Congress responded to the crisis by enacting the most comprehensive financial reform legislation since the 1930s.

Then-Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner issued a reform plan in the summer of 2009 that served as a template for legislation in both the House and Senate. After significant congressional revisions, President Obama signed H.R. 4173, now titled the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (P.L. 111-203), into law on July 21, 2010.

Perhaps the major issue in the financial reform legislation was how to address the systemic fragility revealed by the crisis. The Dodd-Frank Act created a new regulatory umbrella group chaired by the Treasury Secretary—the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC)—with authority to designate certain financial firms as systemically important and subjecting them and all banks with more than $50 billion in assets to heightened prudential regulation. Financial firms were also subjected to a special resolution process (called “Orderly Liquidation Authority”) similar to that used in the past to address failing depository institutions following a finding that their failure would pose systemic risk.."
Dodd-Frank Act

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

The War Powers Resolution: Concepts and Practice

"This report discusses and assesses the War Powers Resolution and its application since enactment in 1973, providing detailed background on various cases in which it was used, as well as cases in which issues of its applicability were raised. It will be revised biannually.

In the post-Cold War world, Presidents have continued to commit U.S. Armed Forces into potential hostilities, sometimes without a specific authorization from Congress. Thus the War Powers Resolution and its purposes continue to be a potential subject of controversy. On June 7, 1995, the House defeated, by a vote of 217-201, an amendment to repeal the central features of the War Powers Resolution that have been deemed unconstitutional by every President since the law’s enactment in 1973. In 1999, after the President committed U.S. military forces to action in Yugoslavia without congressional authorization, Representative Tom Campbell used expedited procedures under the Resolution to force a debate and votes on U.S. military action in Yugoslavia, and later sought, unsuccessfully, through a federal court suit to enforce presidential compliance with the terms of the War Powers Resolution..."
War powers resolution

See It Before You Sign It!

"Living off-campus while away at school is an exciting time in a college student’s life. With spring in the air, many students and parents are beginning their search for off- campus housing in time for the fall semester.  Parents and students are encouraged to put fire safety first.
Did you know that according to a study by the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA), 94% of fatal campus fires from 2000-2015 took place in off-campus housing? That same study showed 58% of fatal campus fires had no smoke alarms or smoke alarms that did not have working batteries.
Sadly, last year, a Southern Illinois University student died in an off- campus house fire and just this year, an Oregon college student, died in an off- campus apartment fire.
To help prevent these tragedies, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has teamed up with USFA, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and Campus Firewatch to help get the message out about off- campus housing fire hazards.  The See It Before You Sign It campaign encourages parents to take a more active role in helping their student find fire safe housing.
It is important to never sign a lease until you have seen the housing.  Once you see the house or apartment, make sure it has:
  • Working smoke alarms in every sleeping room as well as outside each sleeping area and on each level of the apartment or house. Test monthly.
  • Fire sprinklers
  • Two ways out of each room for a safe escape.."

Living off campus

Monday, April 24, 2017

Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks

"EPA has prepared the Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks since the early 1990s. This annual report provides a comprehensive accounting of total greenhouse gas emissions for all man-made sources in the United States. The gases covered by the Inventory include carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons, sulfur hexafluoride, and nitrogen trifluoride. The Inventory also calculates carbon dioxide emissions that are removed from the atmosphere by “sinks,” e.g., through the uptake of carbon and storage in forests, vegetation, and soils..."
Greenhouse gases

Earth-Friendly Jobs

"Here at the Department of Labor, we track jobs, including jobs that take care of our planet. If you love the great outdoors, here are six career paths to consider:
What they do: Study the weather and climate, and how those conditions affect human activity and the earth in general.
  • 2016 median pay: $92,460
  • Typical entry-level education: bachelor’s degree
  • Number of jobs 2014: 11,800
  • Projected growth 2014-24: 9 percent
What they do: Protect the environment and human health by cleaning up polluted areas, advising policymakers, or working with industry to reduce waste.
  • 2016 median pay: $68,910
  • Typical entry-level education: bachelor’s degree
  • Number of jobs 2014: 94,600
  • Projected growth 2014-24: 11 percent
What they do: Study the physical aspects of the Earth, such as its composition and structure, to learn about its past, present and future.
  • 2016 median pay: $89,780
  • Typical entry-level education: bachelor’s degree
  • Number of jobs 2014: 36,400
  • Projected growth 2014-24: 10 percent
What they do: Study how water moves across and through the Earth’s crust, and solve water quality or availability problems.
  • 2016 median pay: $80,480
  • Typical entry-level education: bachelor’s degree
  • Number of jobs 2014: 7,000
  • Projected growth 2014-24: 7 percent
What they do: Carry out plans that environmental engineers develop to prevent or clean up environmental pollution.
  • 2016 median pay: $49,170
  • Typical entry-level education: associate’s degree
  • Number of jobs 2014: 18,600
  • Projected growth 2014-24: 10 percent.."

Earth friendly jobs

Prevent 350 Fall Fatalities and Stand-Down

"Construction contractors can prevent falls from heights. Plan ahead for safety, provide the right equipment, and train workers to use the equipment safely. Join the National Campaign to Prevent Falls in Construction and Stand-Down.
In 2015, there were 350 fall fatalities out of 937 total fatalities in construction. Those deaths were preventable. There were more fatal injuries in construction than any other industry in the United States in 2014, accounting for nearly 20% of the nation’s 4,679 work-related deaths that year. (See Chart). Falls account for 35% of the work-related deaths suffered by construction workers (See Chart). Almost two-thirds of those fatal falls were from roofs, scaffolds, and ladders..."
Fall fatalities

Are you getting enough sleep?

"Learn how much sleep you need for good health.
People will often cut back on their sleep for work, for family demands, or even to watch a good show on television. But if not getting enough sleep is a regular part of your routine, you may be at an increased risk for obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, coronary heart disease and stroke, poor mental health, and even early death. Even one night of short sleep can affect you the next day. Not surprisingly, you’re more likely to feel sleepy. On top of that, you’re more likely to be in a bad mood, be less productive at work, and to be involved in a motor vehicle crash.
How much sleep you need changes as you age. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the Sleep Research Society recommend.."

Sleep

Meningococcal Vaccines for Preteens, Teens

"Meningococcal disease is not very common in the United States, but teens and young adults are at increased risk. There are licensed vaccines to help prevent the most common types of meningococcal disease in the United States.

CDC Recommends Meningococcal Vaccines for Preteens and Teens

All 11 to 12 year olds should be vaccinated with a single dose of a meningococcal conjugate vaccine. CDC recommends a booster dose at age 16. The booster dose gives teens continued protection during the ages when they are at highest risk. If your teenager missed getting a dose, ask their clinician about getting it now.
Teens and young adults (16 through 23 year olds) may also be vaccinated with a serogroup B meningococcal vaccine, preferably at 16 through 18 years old.Multiple doses of serogroup B meningococcal vaccine are needed and the same brand must be used for all doses. Talk with your teen’s clinician if you are interested in serogroup B meningococcal vaccination..."
Meningococcal vaccines

Download Your Congress.gov Search Results

"You can download search results from Congress.gov for any search against a single collection, such as Legislation. Downloading search results for a multi-collection search, such as All Sources, is not available at this time.
Follow these steps to download search results.
  1. Execute a search from any search page including the homepage search, quick search, query builder, advanced legislation or command line.
  2. Look for the Download Results link on the top left side of the search results page, next to the Save this Search link.
  3. Click on the Download Results link.
  4. Click OK on the popup that appears.
  5. Use your browser controls to open or save the file.
Congress.gov search results are delivered as a comma-separated file, with a .csv filename extension. This format works well when opened by a spreadsheet application, such as Microsoft Excel.
When you open the file as a spreadsheet, you will see the date and time of your download in the first row, and the URL of the search used to retrieve the results in the second row.
After a blank third row, column headers are included in the fourth row. Data from your search results are included in the following rows, with each item retrieved by your search in its own row. Data is current as of the date of your download.
Only the data fields that appear on your search results page are available in the downloaded file..."
Congress.gov

Friday, April 21, 2017

Presidential Executive Order on Buy American and Hire American

"EXECUTIVE ORDER
 BUY AMERICAN AND HIRE AMERICAN
By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, and to ensure the faithful execution of the laws, it is hereby ordered as follows:
 
Section 1.  Definitions.  As used in this order:
 
(a)  "Buy American Laws" means all statutes, regulations, rules, and Executive Orders relating to Federal procurement or Federal grants    including those that refer to "Buy America" or "Buy American"    that require, or provide a preference for, the purchase or acquisition of goods, products, or materials produced in the United States, including iron, steel, and manufactured goods..."
Buy American

The Changing Economics and Demographics of Young Adulthood: 1975-2016

"This report looks at changes in young adulthood over the last 40 years. It focuses on how the experiences of today’s young adults differ, in timing and degree, from what young adults experienced in the 1970s—how much longer they wait to start a family, how many have gone to college, and who are able to live independently of their parents. This report looks at a snapshot of the young adult population, defined here as 18 to 34 years old, and focuses on two periods: 1975 and today (using data covering 2012 to 2016 to reflect the contemporary period). Many of the milestones of young adulthood are reflected in the living arrangements of young people: when they move out of their parents’ home and when they form families. Because these milestones are tied to young adults’ economic security, the report also focuses on how education and work experience vary across young adult living arrangements..."
Demogrpahics of young adulthood