Secretary of State Jim Condos to develop ‘Vermont Transparency Tour’

first_imgSecretary of State Jim Condos announced today that he is embarking on a ‘Vermont Transparency Tour’ to travel the state to help educate and train local and state government officials on the laws of the state regarding Access to Public Records and Open Meetings.   He said at least 12 training sessions are envisioned this summer.  ‘A change of the culture and attitude towards access to public records and open meetings is necessary for both state and local government,’ Condos said.  ‘Open government is good government,’ Condos stated in announcing the tour.   ‘Distrust in government is not good for our democratic process ‘ the public has a right to know the truth about what the government is doing.’ Condos continues, ‘As new legislation designed to provide for greater transparency in public records and open meetings progresses in the statehouse, it has become evident that local and state officials need training to better understand the law.’ This week Condos approached the Vermont League of Cities and Towns, Vermont School Boards Association, Vermont Municipal Clerks and Treasurers, American Civil Liberties Union, Common Cause, and the Vermont Press Association to ask for their support of this endeavor. Condos is pleased to say that all have agreed that additional training is important and support the idea of taking this on the road.  Other groups will also be asked to endorse the plan. While the training sessions are designed for all state and local government officials, they will be open to the public.  The initial idea is to schedule two sessions a day, for two days a week over a three or four week period.  The locations will be sprinkled across Vermont and will allow most government officials to be within an hour’s drive of at least two or more sessions. Jim Condos is Vermont’s Secretary of State, after serving eight years as a Vermont Senator from Chittenden County, 18 years on South Burlington City Council and 30+ years of private sector business experience. Source: Condos’ office. 4.29.2011last_img read more

Washington Bishops Say Push For Gay ‘Marriage’ Undermines Family

first_img Share Sharing is caring! Share FaithLifestyle Washington Bishops Say Push For Gay ‘Marriage’ Undermines Family by: – January 18, 2012 Tweetcenter_img 20 Views   no discussions Share Proposed gay “marriage” legislation in Washington state would add to “the forces already undermining family life today,” the state’s Catholic bishops warned.In a January 2012 statement, the bishops stressed that the “stability of society depends on the stability of family life in which a man and a woman conceive and nurture new life.”They noted in their letter titled “Marriage and the Common Good” that the civil recognition of marriage as between one man and one woman has given “countless generations of children the incomparable benefit of a loving mother and father committed to one another in a lifelong union.”On Jan. 13, 23 senators, including two Republicans, introduced legislation that would grant marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Gov. Christine Gregoire, a Catholic Democrat, had requested the bill which will require 25 votes to pass the state Senate.In response to the move, the bishops explained that defining marriage in terms of the relationship between a man and a woman and its “important role” in guaranteeing future generations, the state recognizes the “irreplaceable contribution” married couples make to society.Changing the definition of marriage means there are no special laws to support and recognize this contribution, they said.Marriage not only creates a bond through a personal relationship but allows the potential “of a man and woman to conceive and nurture new life, thus contributing to the continuation of the human race.”The bill’s chief sponsor State Sen. Ed Murray (D-Seattle), however, criticized the bishops in remarks to the Associated Press.“My first reaction, as a practicing Catholic, is that this is very hurtful,” said Murray, currently in a 20-year same-sex relationship.Joseph Backholm, executive director of the Family Policy Institute of Washington, said that he expects thousands of people to show up at the bill’s first public hearing on Jan. 23 to show their opposition.But he sided with the bishops, saying that the “idea that there is no difference between a heterosexual relationship and a homosexual relationship and that the law should recognize no difference, assumes there is no difference between men and women.”“This would be the state taking a position and saying ‘We will no longer encourage arrangements that will give children both a mother and father,” he added.Washington state passed a domestic partnership law in 2007 with about 19,000 registered domestic partners in the state today.In their statement, the bishops called on local Catholics to contact state legislators and urge them to keep marriage defined as between one man and one woman.CNA/EWTN Newslast_img read more

‘Andy Koors Legacy Fund’ winners announced

first_imgCamille FarwickBatesville, In. — The Batesville Community Education Foundation is pleased to announce that the first recipients in a new foundation sponsorship program which assists Batesville High School students who want to study abroad during high school have been selected, announced BCEF executive director Anne Wilson. Camille Farwick and Katherine Poltrack were chosen to each receive $2500 toward their program fees for the Indiana University Honors Program in Foreign Language. The IU program sends qualified high school students abroad for the summer to further their study of foreign language and to be immersed in another culture.“From among the five BHS students who qualified through IU and applied for our new sponsorship program, our selection committee chose these two students to support financially,” Wilson explained. “Farwick will be studying German in Graz, Austria, while Poltrack will be in Chile to hone her Spanish skills in Viña Del Mar. This sponsorship from BCEF pays for more than one-half of their program fees.”Katherine PoltrackThe Andy Koors Legacy Fund was created by the Batesville Community Education Foundation after the nonprofit received the proceeds of a life insurance policy held by the former BHS German teacher who passed away unexpectedly in February 2017. The BCEF board of directors manages this fund to promote initiatives that it believes reflect the values displayed by Koors during his life, such as his generosity to students. This new sponsorship program is one of those initiatives.last_img read more