Tag Archives: Good News

Good News Friday

I totally forgot about last week’s Good News Friday post. Sorry!

Before jumping into the good stuff I have a sad follow-up to a recent Good News Friday post. This adorable baby giraffe was born at Bright’s Zoo in East Tennessee Aug. 7 and made the Tennessee Good News but I am sad to report that the animal died very suddenly Wednesday evening. Cause of death is still unknown. Let’s all pay some respect to the short life of this sweet creature:


RIP. Your life was too short. Condolences to the zoo staff, as well. I understand they had grown quite attached to the little fella.

On to the good news:

• A progressive candidate in Arizona has an awesome message for pro-lifers wanting him to come between women and their medical decisions:


• A federal judge has struck down Florida’s ban on gay marriage.

• A North Carolina judge has ruled that the state’s school vouchers program is unconstitutional, and has ordered the state to retrieve the taxpayer funds it distributed. Said the judge:

“The General Assembly fails the children of North Carolina when they are sent with public taxpayer money to private schools that have no legal obligation to teach them anything,” Hobgood said.

• Sarah Palin’s influence seems to have dissipated like a fart in the breeze.

• UK regulators have ruled the phrase “clean coal” is misleading, and have ordered U.S. coal giant Peabody Energy to remove it from their advertising.

• New York teenager Kenneth Shinozuka invented a wearable sensor device that alerts caregivers of Alzheimer’s patients when their patients are walking around. Shinozuka’s grandfather suffers from the disease.

• Tech billionaires Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer are supporting a Washington State initiative requiring criminal background checks for all gun show and online firearms purchases. Stupidly, there’s a competing measure supported by gun loons that only requires background checks for licensed firearms dealers. However, they have not matched the fundraising power of the stronger measure.

• Bank of America will pay $16.65 billion to settle claims related to the mortgage meltdown.

• The largest conservation land purchase in Texas history is finally complete, thanks to the oil spill money: some 17,000 acres of coastal prairie, known as Powderhorn Ranch, has been preserved from development. It’s located near the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge, a place I visited some 30 years ago, and found to be absolutely spectacular.

• Images of a militarized police force coming out of Ferguson, MO have shocked the nation. Enter Georgia Democratic Congressman Rep. Hank Johnson, who is working on legislation that would change how the Pentagon sends its military surplus to local police forces. This should be a bipartisan no-brainer, seeing as how Republicans are as repulsed by the concept of a militarized police as Democrats. But …. this being our do-nothing Congress ….

• Kentucky candidate for U.S. Senate Alison Lundergan Grimes has picked up the endorsement of the United Mine Workers.

• A judge has ruled that Maryland’s gun control law banning military-style assault weapons is constitutional.

• Another gay football player has come out.

Good News, Tennessee Edition:

• Murfreesboro’s city council voted not to allow guns on city greenways.

• Nashville Mayor Karl Dean announced his support of same-sex marriage.

This week’s video: jazz guitar virtuoso Chris Standring. This not like any pool party I’ve ever attended:

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Good News Friday

This week’s round-up of good news awaits. Enjoy!

• Some good election news from around Tennessee: wackaloon Victoria Jackson lost her bid for the Williamson County Commission, a move by Koch Bros.-funded groups like Americans For Prosperity to oust the state’s Supreme Court justices failed, and homophobic ignoramus Stacy Campfield got stomped by his primary challenger.

Meanwhile, skeevy “abortion-for-me-but-not-for-thee” Congressvarmint Scott DesJarlais holds a narrow lead over primary challenger Jim Tracy in the race for the TN-04 Republican nomination. DesJarlais is the “pro-life” doctor who famously slept with patients and pressured both his wife and mistress to have abortions. Jim Tracy is a far-right wackadoodle, too; I guess the voters would rather stay with the wackadoodle they know, not the wackadoodle they don’t know. Maybe everyone in TN-04 is whacked out on meth.

• FICO is changing how it calculates credit scores, with things like medical debt no longer given so much weight:

“This underscores that medical obligations are very different than any other kind of obligations because consumers don’t choose to incur hospital debt — it’s a very different type of risk posed by a consumer when they default on that type of debt,” said John Ulzheimer, expert at CreditSesame.com.

• The owner of an Ohio drilling company who ordered employees to dump tens of thousands of gallons of toxic fracking waste into a local river was sentenced to 28 months in prison.

• Astronomers have made some cool discoveries sifting through the Hubble telescope’s sofa cushions.

• Theodore Wafer was found guilty of second-degree murder in the shooting death of Renisha McBride last November. An intoxicated McBride had crashed her car and was possibly seeking help when she knocked on Wafer’s door.

• Congratulations, Becky Hammon, new Assistant Coach of the San Antonio Spurs! You are the first female coach in NBA history!

• Self-folding robots! I think we’ve seen this movie ….

• After growing attention in the media to the practice of “corporate inversion” resulted in some negative publicity (and possible legislative action), Walgreen’s decided it would stay in the USA.

• Someone invented a cheap, easy to use water filter that attaches to ordinary plastic water bottles.

• A growing number of evangelical Christians are turned off by the misogynistic spew coming from Mars Hill megachurch pastor Mark Driscoll. A large group described as “several dozen” protested Driscoll’s Bellevue, WA church last weekend.

• Alabama’s abortion clinic law requiring doctors performing abortions have hospital admitting privileges has been ruled unconstitutional by a federal judge.

• Amid the issues raised in the “Blackfish” documentary, Southwest Airlines has ended its long corporate sponsorship of the Sea World theme parks.

Good News, Tennessee Edition:

• The largest solar parking structure in Tennessee is under construction at Hendersonville’s City Square Shopping Center.

• This East Tennessee ER nurse performed CPR on a drowned puppy and brought him back to life.

• TVA continues to move away from coal for its power production.

• Get a load of this adorable baby giraffe born at Bright’s Zoo in Limestone, TN. Please do not feed it to the lions or smack its head on a bridge during transport in an open-top truck.

I love giraffes. They’ve had a hard time of it lately, too.

And here’s this week’s cool video: watch an entire train station full of people in Perth, Australia free a man trapped by a train. Amazing what we can do when we all pull together, eh?


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Good News Friday

Some good news to start the weekend.

• A court ruled that Uganda’s anti-gay law was passed illegally and struck it down.

• Bank of America has been ordered to pay nearly $1.3 billion in penalties over the “Hustle” mortgage fraud case.

• A Florida judge has ordered state lawmarkers redraw its Congressional map by August 15, after ruling the last one favored Republicans. Republicans wanted to wait until after the 2014 midterms. Of course they did.

• Kansas City, Mo., bans open carry.

• The only abortion clinic in Mississippi will remain open after an appeals court stays the state’s abortion law.

• Somewhat related: following SCOTUS’ ruling which repealed Massachusetts’ buffer zone around abortion clinics, the state has set new limits on abortion clinic protests:

The new law allows the police to disperse protesters who are substantially impeding access to a clinic. Protesters must stay at least 25 feet from the clinic’s entrances for up to eight hours or be subject to a misdemeanor charge.

• The UK’s green energy output is up 30% over last year.

• Outdoor clothing outfitter Patagonia is selling a line of wetsuits made of 60% plant-based rubber, 40% neoprene. Neoprene is petroleum-based, and they hope when costs of the plant-based material go down, they’ll eventually be able to make a 100% sustainable wetsuit.

Good News, Tennessee Edition:

• Eight hundred victims of the 2008 Kingston coal ash spill share close to $28 million in a settlement by TVA.

• The state got its first bicycle traffic signal. It’s in Chattanooga.

• A group of Tennessee hospitals reduced surgical complications by 19.7% from 2009 to 2012 — an achievement estimated to have saved at least 533 lives.

• Locked-out Kellogg workers in Memphis may be back to work as early as next week.

And speaking of bicycling: a Dutch cycler’s opinion of trying to commute on a bike in the U.S.:

And an even better video that just crossed my path: who’s talking impeachment again? The White House staff?


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Good News Friday

Well, it appears we’re back in business at the Beale household! A technician came this morning, figured out something to do with serial numbers and handshakes and whatever, and we got our phone, TV and internet back. Keeping fingers crossed that this is the real deal. Now starts the fighting over our money. Sigh.

I know I owe you a Good News post, so here’s an abbreviated collection. Sorry for the rants and craziness this week.

• The town of Somerset, KY, opened its own no-frills municipal gas station, after years of complaints from citizens about price gouging from private retailers. Gas prices at nearby retailers immediately dropped, though the local gas station owners are whining about “socialism.” Competition will do that.

• Ted Nugent’s long history of being an asshole has cost him another gig, this time an August 4 concert at the Coeur d’Alene Tribe of American Indians’ North Idaho casino. Said Chief Allan, Chairman of the Coeur d’Alene Tribe, in a statement:

“We know what it’s like to be the target of hateful messages and we would never want perpetuate hate in any way.”

Nugent responded as only he can: by proving how right the tribe was to cancel his show. That cost Nugent yet another casino booking, this one in Washington. It’s about time these pieces of shit start paying a price for their racism.

• Death of another right-wing myth (this is getting to be a regular feature over here): high taxes don’t make rich people move. Guess we here in Tennessee shouldn’t expect Sean Hannity to arrive any time soon.

• If you want to see a place with robust economic growth fueled by a rapidly expanding middle class, take a look at Africa. Hey, it’s not all kids with swollen bellies and drought-ravaged landscapes. Who knew?

• A deeply unpopular Republican Party and a more-popular-than-expected Obamacare have dwindled Republican hopes for midterm landslide.

• I always thought billionaire Mark Cuban was a bit of a dick, bit this week he took to Twitter to attack corporate tax cheats:

“When companies move off shore to save on taxes, you and I make up the tax shortfall elsewhere sell those stocks and they won’t move,” he tweeted later.

* Good News, Tennessee Edition:

• Nashville bookstore Parnassus Books, owned by author Ann Patchett, has been named one of the world’s coolest bookstores by CNN. I’ve been there many times and it is, indeed, very cool.

• Nashville held its first-ever GLBT wedding expo.

• Related: my local Gannett fishwrap actually printed a same-sex marriage announcement. Progress!

• More Nashvillians are recycling.

• Billie, one of the hundreds if not thousands of abused circus elephants worldwide, finds a new home at Tennessee’s Elephant Sanctuary.

This week’s cool video: watch this dog get so excited to see its owner for the first time in two years that it passed out! Kinda like how I feel about having my communication services back:


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Good News Friday

I am running behind today, sorry kids. I thought July would be less busy but, sadly, no. Here’s some good news I compiled across the web. Enjoy!

• A judge has ruled California’s death penalty is unconstitutional.

• Insurance giant UnitedHealthcare announces plans to sell policies on the Obamacare exchanges next year:

Broad participation by UnitedHealthcare will increase competition and should help keep premiums down, according to theory and research. A recent paper by economists Leemore Dafny, Jonathan Gruber and Christopher Ody found that if UnitedHealthcare had sold policies through the exchanges this year in every state where it already does business, premiums would have been 5 percent lower.

• Our Awesome Hippie Pope says immigrant children should be “welcomed and protected” at America’s border. I’m sure this will be yet another Papal utterance American conservatives choose to ignore while they silently wish the Vatican would go back to talking about gays, abortion and birth control.

• In response to a class action lawsuit, Remington will redesign and replace the triggers on its most popular hunting rifle.

• Hey, gays! You can get married in the Florida Keys starting next week.

• Related: an appeals court has upheld a lower court’s ruling which overturned Oklahoma’s ban on same-sex marriages.

The Church of England has voted to allow female bishops.

• This isn’t so much good news as just .. I dunno, irony or whatever? But the idea of a bunch of charter school teachers trying to unionize is just so delicious.

• Washington & Lee University is removing the Confederate flag display which has stood on campus for over 80 years.

• Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon vetoed a guns-in-schools bill.

• Volkswagen has named its top labor official to the board of directors of Volkswagen Group of America. Watch out, Chattanooga.

• A man in Southern California is retrofitting classic VW Beetles and transforming them from ICEs to EVs. That sounds like a sweet ride.

Good News, Tennessee Edition:

• Three days after the UAW establishes its presence at the Chattanooga Volkswagen plant, VW announces Chattanooga will produce its new SUV Meanwhile, Gov. Haslam says the $160 million in state incentives offered to VW won’t be tied to any deal the car maker strikes with the UAW.

• A former police officer, gun advocate and lifetime NRA member speaks out against Tennessee’s new guns-in-cars law.

This week’s video: How not to clear your gun.


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Good News Friday

Lots of good news this week. Enjoy!

• The Polar Vortex is coming back, which means next week is going to be absolutely gorgeous across most of the country. Forgive me, West Coasters. I don’t often get to gloat about the weather here in July!

• Death of a right-wing Libertarian myth: Obamacare is working. Someone needs to track the success of the healthcare law with the media’s discontinued use of the moniker “Obamacare” in favor of the law’s real name, the Affordable Care Act. Would be an interesting thought experiment.

• Death of another conservative-Libertarian myth #2: raising the minimum wage is not a job killer. Oh noes.

• A judge has ruled that Florida’s legislature illegally drew new Congressional district maps to help the Republican Party.

• The country’s fastest-growing solar electricity program is located in … wait for it … Georgia? Really?

• Cattle ranchers, hunters, and treehuggers join forces to stop natural gas drilling in the Colorado wilderness.

• Do you think whales wear “Save The Humans” bumper stickers? Maybe they should: a new study indicates whale poop may save us from climate change. Yippee! Sorry about that whole Western-civilization-powered-by-whale-oil thing from the last century, guys.

• Another state gay marriage ban falls. Helloooo, Colorado.

• Detroit: it’s not dead yet.

• It’s probably dead thanks to the Great Orange Wall in the House, but Democrats have a bill that would preserve women’s access to contraception coverage no matter what their boss’ religion.

• Did you know Buzz Aldrin saw a UFO on the Apollo 11 mission to the moon?

I have a funny Buzz Aldrin story. I grew up in the same small New Jersey town as Aldrin. When he came back from the moon there was a huge parade for him down Main Street. He was going to be there waving to everyone. I was SO excited! So my sister and I went — I have no recollection of what my parents were doing that day — but as I was only 7 years old, all I saw that day was a sea of knee socks. I shit you not. I will never forget it. Just a forest of legs all in knee socks. I think I’ve hated parades ever since.

• The story of Raju the abused elephant who actually cried on experiencing freedom for the first time in 50 years will break your heart a thousand ways:

The owner, reported by The Times of India to be a drug addict, and the elephant’s handler attempted to thwart the rescue, blocking the road, shouting commands to Raju to try to provoke the animal into violence, and adding more chains around the animal’s legs.

But the rescue team stood its ground, and seized the animal. It was at this point that tears began rolling down Raju’s face. Raju, despite each painful step as the spikes cut into his flesh, calmly climbed into the truck, as if knowing he was being rescued.

Elephants are amazing creatures.

• Kansas City, Mo. journalist Esther Honig asked 25 countries to “make me beautiful.” The results were a fascinating window on individual and cultural beauty ideals.

• Love this idea! Individual activism goes a long, long way.

• Everytown For Gun Safety is issuing its first “Gun Sense Voter” questionnaire to all 2014 candidates for federal office.

• Solar energy will be cheaper than grid electricity across half of the U.S. by 2015, says a Texas utility head.

• The United Nations announced it will recognize staff members’ same-sex unions. Before this accouncement, a UN staff member’s marital status was determined by the laws applicable in their country of nationality.

• A fluffy white stray dog dubbed “Dolly” after it was found wandering the Glastonbury Music Festival grounds following Dolly Parton’s appearance there has found a new home with its namesake.

Good News, Tennessee Edition:

• Motlow College is now tobacco-free.

• Cool! Astronaut and Middle Tennessee native Barry Wilmore is the next commander of the International Space Station.

Ooops almost forgot this week’s cool video: pit bull meets 10-week-old kitten. Adorableness ensues. I have to say, we have one cat that is absolutely in love with our pit bull. Will not leave him alone. If he could rub on the dog forever, he would. Love story.


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Good News Friday

I hope everyone enjoys their Fourth of July holiday. In Nashville we are experiencing an all-too rare dose of absolutely gorgeous weather: low humidity, sunny, with temperatures in the high 50s at night and low 80s during the day. This is not our norm here for July. Our norm here is sucky, swampy, heat and humidity. So Mr. Beale and I enjoyed our morning coffee and newspapers on the porch, then took the dogs for a long walk through the neighborhood. Everyone is out relishing in the September-like weather. As I always tell Mr. Beale, “If we lived in California, it would be like this every day!” He remains unconvinced.

On to other matters: Despite the bad news from America’s Caliphate Supreme Court, there was some good news this week. Enjoy!

• In honor of July Fourth: what a difference a period makes.

• The governor of Missouri vetoed a bill that required a 3-day waiting period for abortions.

• Is it Obama’s economy yet? Just asking because of the fifth month in a row with 200,000+ jobs added (the first since 1999!) and the stock market reaching new milestones. Obama really is the worst socialist ever.

• Congratulations, Admiral Michelle Howard, who became the highest-ranking woman in Naval history.

• Burger King celebrates gay pride.

• Fuck you, SCOTUS: more than half of privately-insured women get free birth control as part of the preventive care portion of their health insurance coverage. This is the new standard and that bell won’t be unrung:

Business groups and employee benefits consultants say they see little chance that employers will roll back contraceptive coverage as a result of the Supreme Court ruling. The court carved out a space for “closely held” companies whose owners object on religious grounds. Most companies don’t fit that niche.

“I don’t think you will see a broad impact,” said Neil Trautwein, the top employee benefits expert for the National Retail Federation. “It’s a commonly offered benefit for many employers, including retailers.”

Wingnutty companies who insist on putting their religion on women’s bodies will either draw from a smaller employee pool or eventually have to offer some kind of compensation to make up for the benefits inequity offered male vs female employees. Personally I eagerly anticipate Hobby Lobby’s bankruptcy filing, but that may be a few years away.

• Target would prefer you leave your guns at home, thank you very much.

• A straw gun purchaser has gone to jail. About damn time.

• The American Wood Stork is no longer endangered.

• The New York State Supreme Court ruled that towns can ban fracking.

• This Wisconsin Rottweiler coughed up its owner’s wedding ring five years after it went missing.

• Kentucky’s ban on same-sex marriage has been struck down.

• Great story about how the Tolo River community in the Colombian rainforest is protecting over 32,000 acres of rainforest and watershed by selling carbon credits through the UN’s REDD initiative.

• Our glorious experiment in for-profit higher education has gone down a completely predictable path and appears to finally be ending.

Good News, Tennessee Edition:

• Industrial hemp is now legal in Tennessee.

• The State of Tennessee officially renounced its role in the Trail of Tears.

Today’s cool video: Ginsburg’s blistering Hobby Lobby dissent, in song:


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