Safer Federal Workforce Task Force Releases Vaccine Requirements for Federal Contractors

As we wrote on 10 September 2021, the President, as part of the Administration’s comprehensive national strategy, issued Executive Order 14042 (the EO) directing the Safer Federal Workforce Task Force (Task Force) to publish guidance by 24 September 2021 regarding COVID-19 safeguards applicable to prime contractors and subcontractors working on or in connection with a federal contract or a contract-like instrument, including those for commercial items (the Guidance).
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New Jersey launches 'Return and Earn' program offering incentives to workers, small businesses

NEW JERSEY - Governor Phil Murphy announced a new initiative Monday that is aimed at getting the unemployed back into the workforce. The "Return and Earn" program will provide a $500 incentive for unemployed workers reentering the workforce and receiving job training from businesses with 100 or fewer employees. Eligible businesses will then be reimbursed for 50% of the wages paid for regular hours worked during the contracted employer-provided training period.
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Reclamation Releases Updated Projections of Colorado River System Conditions - Continued Elevated Risk of Lake Powell and Lake Mead Reaching Critically-Low Elevations

Modeling results assist drought response planning in the Colorado River Basin. September 27, 2021 - COLORADO RIVER BASIN - The Bureau of Reclamation last week released updated modeling projections of major reservoir levels within the Colorado River system over the next five years. These projections are used by Reclamation and water users in the basin for future water management planning. The new projections show continued elevated risk of Lake Powell and Lake Mead reaching critically-low elevations as a result of the historic drought and low-runoff conditions in the Colorado River Basin.
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Fall River receives $400,000 to renovate Kennedy Park tennis courts, create city’s first pickle ball courts

The Baker-Polito Administration last week awarded $10,090,749 in grant funding for park improvements, open space acquisitions, and land conservation projects in 37 Massachusetts communities and six conservation districts which included Fall River. The grants, funded by the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs’ capital budget and administered through several programs, including the Parkland Acquisitions and Renovations for Communities, Local Acquisitions for Natural Diversity, Conservation Partnership, and Conservation District Innovation Grant Programs, will help municipalities and land trusts in their efforts to protect land for future generations for outdoor recreation purposes. The announcement was made by Governor Charlie Baker and Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito at the City of Lowell’s South Common as part of the Administration’s celebration of Climate Week in Massachusetts.

Commerce Secretary Raimondo Stresses America’s Road to Recovery Runs Through Nation’s Minority Business Community at Annual MED Week Conference

On Monday, September 20, 2021, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo opened the Minority Business Development Agency’s (MBDA) annual National Minority Enterprise Development (MED) Week conference. In her remarks, she stressed that minority business enterprises (MBE’s) are the engine of the American economy and that America’s Road to recovery runs through the Nation’s minority business community.

Illinois empanada maker cited for using false USDA inspection mark

WASHINGTON, Sept. 13, 2021 – SAS Foods Enterprises Inc., an Elk Grove Village, Ill., establishment, is recalling approximately 3,768 pounds of beef and chicken empanada products that were produced without the benefit of federal inspection and bearing a label with a false USDA mark of inspection, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced today.

Duke Faculty Group Helps Predict COVID-19 Trends on Campus

During the late spring and early summer as Duke’s COVID-19 cases dropped to single digits and most students, faculty and staff had been vaccinated, the question about whether to discontinue surveillance testing for vaccinated individuals during the fall seemed obvious. A steady decline of new COVID-19 cases underscored a positive...

Salmon Orca Project goes live

On September 22, the Nez Perce Tribe announced the launch of the Salmon Orca Project (Project). A result of the worsening Snake River salmon extinction crisis, the Project directly calls on President Biden’s Administration to take swift and unequivocal action to support the replacement of the four Lower Snake River dams along the Snake River.
Ethanol Producer Magazine

Biofuel groups tell EPA ethanol can reduce vehicle GHG emissions

Representatives of the U.S. ethanol industry are calling on the U.S. EPA to recognize how low-carbon, high-octane ethanol can reduce transportation greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in its proposed rule to set revised GHG emissions standards for model year (MY) 2023-2026 light-duty vehicles. The EPA and U.S. Department of Transportation on...

NRF, RILA ask government for more time for vaccine mandate

WASHINGTON — Leaders from the National Retail Federation and Retail Industry Leaders Assn. have asked the Department of Labor for a 90-day window to better help retailers prepare for the Biden Administration’s latest COVID-19 vaccination proposals. The Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is developing a rule...

PennEast Ceases Development Of Gas Pipeline Through The Garden State

TRENTON, N.J. - Trenton, NJ-Statement from Governor Murphy on PennEast’s Decision to Cease Development of Pipeline Through New Jersey. “For the last four years, my Administration has fought back against the unnecessary construction of the PennEast Pipeline, which was wrong for New Jersey and would have destroyed acres of New Jersey’s conserved land and threatened species. Since taking office, we have focused on changing the ways we produce and consume energy, and have made generational investments in creating our offshore wind industry, building our solar programs, and encouraging electric vehicle investments. I welcome today’s decision by PennEast to cease development on this project and am committed to protecting our state’s natural resources and building a clean energy future that works for all New Jerseyans. I will never back down from a fight to protect New Jersey’s best interests.”

A Proclamation on National Hunting and Fishing Day, 2021

On National Hunting and Fishing Day, we celebrate the time-honored traditions of hunting and fishing and their role in providing people of all ages and backgrounds the opportunity to enjoy the great American outdoors. From the earliest days of our Nation, hunting and fishing have instilled respect for our long-cherished...

Chairman Thompson Statement on TSA Announcing Merit Systems Protection Board Rights for its Frontline Workforce

(WASHINGTON) – Today, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security, released the following statement on the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) announcing it has entered into a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) in which the MSPB has agreed to review adverse action appeals from screening workforce employees. This follows Homeland Security Secretary Mayorkas’ announcement in June which highlighted steps the Biden Administration would take to improve the TSA workforce, including expanding collective bargaining rights, improving Transportation Security Officer (TSO) pay, and providing processes for appealing disciplinary actions.

UCF to Use National Award to Elevate Women-owned Businesses

Through UCF’s collaboration with the Florida High Tech Corridor, the university will be implementing an initiative funded by the U.S. Small Business Administration to help support women entrepreneurship. The Corridor was selected as one of eight winners for the Administration’s first Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Catalyst Competition, which recognizes model partnerships addressing the gaps for underrepresented entrepreneurs nationwide.
Delta County Independent

Delta Health’s annual employee BBQ celebrates healthcare workers

Last week Delta Health hosted its annual employee BBQ to celebrate its healthcare workers and to close out the summer season. This year’s hamburger meat was donated to hospital employees by Homestead Meats and the Roeber Family Ranch – Mt. Lamborn Ranches in Paonia, Colorado. “The employee BBQ is something...

Edwidge Danticat: The U.S.’s Long History of Mistreating Haitian Migrants

The current tragedy at the border is just the latest fallout from the U.S.’s failed policies toward Haiti. This past week, while looking at the heart-wrenching images of Haitian migrants—packed by the thousands under the Del Rio International Bridge, in Texas, or crossing at shallow points of the Rio Grande, or being chased by Border Patrol agents on horseback, or landing back in Haiti for the first time in years—I thought of some of my family’s own migration nightmares. I remembered my mother telling me how, while living in New York on an expired tourist visa, in the nineteen-seventies, she was arrested during an immigration raid at a garment factory. She was pregnant at the time with one of my younger brothers. Spotting and cramping, and held in a crowded cell, she thought that she’d miscarried, until she was finally seen by a doctor a few days later. I remembered my eighty-one-year-old uncle Joseph dying in U.S. immigration custody in Miami, in 2004, after fleeing Port-au-Prince’s Bel Air neighborhood in the wake of a bloody United Nations forces operation. He was detained by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement after requesting asylum at Miami International Airport. His medications were taken away, and, after his health deteriorated, he was brought to a local hospital’s prison ward, where he died shackled to a bed. I also remembered the hundreds of men and women I have seen at Port-au-Prince’s Toussaint Louverture Airport over the past decade, heading out of the country toward newer destinations, as hopeful and determined as my parents once had been to travel abroad, find work, send money home to their families, and eventually offer a better life to their children.