on this day … 7/7 1930 – Construction began on Boulder Dam, later Hoover Dam, on the Colorado River


1754 – Kings College opened in New York City. It was renamed Columbia College 30 years later.

1846 – U.S. annexation of California was proclaimed at Monterey after the surrender of a Mexican garrison.

1862 – The first railroad post office was tested on the Hannibal and St. Joseph Railroad in Missouri.

1885 – G. Moore Peters patented the cartridge-loading machine.

1917 – Aleksandr Kerensky formed a provisional government in Russia.

1920 – A device known as the radio compass was used for the first time on a U.S. Navy airplane near Norfolk, VA.

1930 – Construction began on Boulder Dam, later Hoover Dam, on the Colorado River.

1937 – Japanese forces invaded China.

1946 – Mother Frances Xavier Cabrini was canonized as the first American saint.

1950 – The U.N. Security Council authorized military aid for South Korea.

1969 – Canada’s House of Commons gave final approval to a measure that made the French language equal to English throughout the national government.

1981 – U.S. President Reagan announced he was nominating Arizona Judge Sandra Day O’Connor to become the first female justice on the U.S. Supreme Court. 

1983 – Eleven-year-old Samantha Smith of Manchester, Maine, left for a visit to the Soviet Union at the personal invitation of Soviet leader Yuri V. Andropov.

1987 – Public testimony at the Iran-Contra hearing began.

1994 – Amazon.com, Inc. was founded in Seattle, Washington under the name “Cadabra.” 

1998 – A jury in Santa Monica, CA, convicted Mikail Markhasev of murdering Ennis Cosby, Bill Cosby’s only son, during a roadside robbery.

1999 – In Sierra Leone, President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah and rebel leader Foday Sankoh signed a pact to end the nation’s civil war.

2000 – Cisco Systems Inc. announced that it would buy Netiverse Inc. for $210 million in stock. It was the 13th time Cisco had purchased a company in 2000.

2003 – In Liberia, a team of U.S. military experts arrived at the U.S. embassy compound to assess whether to deploy troops as part of a peacekeeping force in the country.

SB5289 ~ Washington State Distracted Driving Law Taking Effect in July


The bill, SB 5289  making use of a mobile phone while driving a primary offense exempts a driver who is using a personal electronic device to contact emergency services and also someone operating an authorized emergency vehicle.

Washington state Gov. Jay Inslee signed three bills into law on May 16 that aim to reduce distracted driving and impaired driving.

The bills make any use of a mobile phone while driving a primary offense, make an individual driver’s fourth DUI a felony, and implement recommendations from a task force on impaired driving. Inslee’s signature means the distracted driving law goes into effect in July 2017.

“We’re suffering a scourge of death of our loved ones on our roadways, due to two problems: distracted driving and impaired driving,” he said. “Today I’m signing three bills to confront these scourges head on.”

Inslee mentioned at the signing ceremony in Tacoma the case of Sam Thompson, a junior at Lewis and Clark College who was killed one week before his 21st birthday when he crashed while sending a text. Lavera Wade, his grandmother, attended the ceremony; she had worked with other victims’ families to see the law passed, according to Inslee’s news release.

The bill making use of a mobile phone while driving a primary offense is SB 5289. It exempts a driver who is using a personal electronic device to contact emergency services; the use of a system by a transit system employee for time-sensitive relay communication between the transit system employee and the transit system’s dispatch services; an individual employed as a commercial motor vehicle driver who uses a personal electronic device within the scope of his or her employment if such use is permitted under 49 U.S.C. Sec. 31136 as it existed on the effective date of the law; and a person operating an authorized emergency vehicle.

source: ohsonline.com

AARP ~ Surprising Airline Rules ~ AARP


 Bumpy Air Travel Rules

by Eileen Ambrose | AARP | April 12, 2017

En español | Unless all your devices have been on airplane mode, you’ve seen the video of a passenger being dragged off a United Airlines flight so his seat could be given to one of the carrier’s employees.

United’s CEO initially defended the forced — and bloody — removal, saying the airline has a right to bump passengers even though they paid for their tickets and were already seated. For many consumers, this was a shocking education on passenger rights — or lack of them.

“There are hundreds of rules that are listed in different documents that nobody reads,” says Rick Seaney, CEO of FareCompare, a travel information website. “It’s like your Apple phone. It asks you, ‘Do you agree to the terms?’ and it’s a 60-page document. Who is going to read that before they press ‘yes’?”

You’ll find the rules are spelled out in each airline’s “contract of carriage” or “conditions of carriage.” They vary from carrier to carrier. Here are some of them:

Overselling and bumping The practice of selling more tickets than there are available seats is legal. Airlines have been allowed to overbook to financially protect themselves against passengers who don’t show up and then claim a refund. Empty seats cost airlines money. Carriers also are permitted to bump passengers if too many of them show up.

In this recent case, the flight was fully booked — not oversold — when four United crew members tried to get to their destination by bumping passengers. Typically, airlines will first offer a financial incentive. They can offer any amount to people who voluntarily give up their seat, starting, say, with a $100 voucher for a future flight.

Under federal requirements, domestic passengers who are involuntarily bumped can receive up to $1,350 — and get it in cash. (You are most likely to be involuntarily bumped if you’re not part of the airline’s loyalty program, you purchased a cheap ticket and checked in close to takeoff, Seaney says.)

But this overselling practice is no longer needed, Seaney says. Years of experience and computer technology help airlines forecast cancellations, he says. Plus, now that some airlines charge a $200 fee to change a flight — about the cost of many tickets — it’s rare for passengers not to show up, he says.

United’s offer didn’t receive any takers, so the airline said it randomly selected seated passengers to be involuntarily bumped. One man balked and was dragged off.

“Once a pilot, flight attendant or gate agent says you are going to be removed from a plane, there is zero tolerance for [resistance] in the age of terrorism,” Seaney says.

“It should have never got to that situation,” he adds, saying the airline could have made a more generous offer before anyone boarded. It may have cost United a couple thousand dollars, but it would have saved the airline tens of millions of dollars in bad PR, he says.

“You’re wearing that?”: Airlines can prevent you from traveling on their planes if what you are wearing is deemed inappropriate. United, again, made headlines last month when it stopped two teens from embarking because the girls wore leggings. The girls were flying on a type of ticket for United employees and their dependents, but the airline told the New York Times that a dress code applies to all travelers.

The rules are vague, and it’s up to individual airline employees to decide whether you violate them, Seaney says. “They are the judge and jury. Definitely, certain people have different moral codes than others,” he says.

Size matters: As with attire, airline staffers have discretion on whether you’re taking up too much room and must buy another seat. (Some airlines, though, will seat “passengers of size” next to an empty seat if it’s available without charging them extra, Seaney says.)

Pay up front: Make a purchase through a retailer, say Amazon, and the retailer won’t charge it to your credit card until the item is shipped. But airplane tickets are considered contracts, Seaney says, so the charge will appear on your credit card at the time of booking — even though your flight may be months away.

And what if you are entitled to a refund for a canceled flight? Instead of crediting your account immediately, airlines can wait up until two billing cycles to refund your money, Seaney says.

Broken items: If you place electronics or other valuable items in your checked luggage and they break in transit, you’re out of luck. They aren’t covered by the baggage insurance, and you won’t be compensated.

Lost luggage: You are entitled to compensation if your luggage is lost or damaged. But you’ll get much more if this luggage problem occurs on a domestic flight — which comes under federal regulations — than on an overseas flight that’s governed by international law, says George Hobica, founder of Airfarewatchdog.com, a travel information website.

If you are traveling overseas and concerned about not being adequately compensated for lost luggage, consider purchasing insurance for checked bags from the airlines, Hobica says.

No guarantees: Transportation is not guaranteed — and neither are many other features of flying, Hobica says. “Most contracts say, ‘We don’t guarantee to get you there on time. We don’t guarantee that you will have a particular seat on the plane. We are not obligated to serve you,’” he says.

Of course, there are many more rules on air rights that would be useful for travelers to know. Hobica suggests that consumers at least once in their lives read an airline’s “contract of carriage.”

“Do it while they’re not listening to the safety demo,” he says.

climate change! a letter to Angela Merkel ~ Add your Name ~ Avaaz.org


Dear friends,

Trump’s going to try to hijack a meeting of the world’s 20 most powerful nations and turn it into an attack on our planet and the Paris climate deal.

Unless Germany’s Angela Merkel stops him.

She’s one of the great climate leaders of our generation and could push hard to isolate Trump with a plan for 100% clean energy from the remaining 19 countries. But she’ll need to know she has massive support from everywhere to take this unprecedented step. Sign with just one click, then share the open letter to Merkel — we have just days to hit 1 million and Avaaz will print it in major German media ahead of the summit!

Dear Chancellor Merkel,

We reject Trump’s attempts to divide the world on climate change.

And we call on you to lead us to a safe, sustainable future, with or without the USA.

As you welcome the G20 to Germany, we ask you to stand up to Trump by leading the 19 remaining countries to commit to a 100% clean energy future.

As the ‘Climate Chancellor’, your leadership has given us hope that climate catastrophe can be avoided. That hope is precious. Billions across our beautiful planet are now counting on you to protect it.

Recent signers -- Add my name

ADD MY NAME

The global Avaaz movement poured its heart and soul into securing the landmark Paris Agreement. Now we must rise together to defend it, and with it, our people’s future. Join the campaign and forward this email to everyone you know.

With hope and determination,

Christoph, Bert, Patricia, Camille, René & the whole Avaaz team