Tag Archives: Good News

Good News Friday

I AM SICK OF WINTER.

There, I said it. And we’ve got another ice storm headed Nashville’s way today, too. Ugh. Okay, enough of that, here’s your weekly dose of good news.

• We need more kids like Tommy Adams.

• Wal-mart announced it’s upping its minimum wage for hourly workers and will make changes in how workers are scheduled.

• A so-called “bathroom bill” targeting transgender teens in Kentucky failed to get enough votes to pass out of a Senate committee.

• Attorney General Eric Holder has called for a national moratorium on the death penalty.

• Researchers say an experimental molecule has blocked the HIV virus in monkeys, another big step toward finding an HIV/AIDs vaccine.

• Old and busted, helicopter parents. New hotness, Free Range Parents.

• A student at Dalhousie University says he’s invented a tattoo removal cream.

• Nestle says it will remove the artificial ingredients from its candy.

• Plastic bag bans are catching on in Texas.

• To make a statement about marriage equality, this Huntsville, AL synagogue welcomed gay couples to say “I do” during “Wedding Week.”

• The National Marine Fisheries Service has proposed protecting close to 40,000 square miles of habitat to protect the severely endangered North American Right Whale.

Good News, Tennessee Edition:

• Nashville’s North Branch Library, one of the few Carnegie Libraries still open and operating, celebrated its 100th anniversary this week.

• When the Monroe County animal shelter lost its power this week, the good people at the Monroe County Friends Of Animals Thrift Store stepped in to house the shelter’s large dogs. Let me add: if you’re a dog in a rural animal shelter, your prospects are not very good. Please consider adopting from a rural shelter.

This week’s video: Riley and Willie playing tuggie in the snow. Riley gets pretty vocal when he plays tuggie but it’s all in good fun. And I love how it takes Riley a minute to realize he actually won, and then he does his happy dance. He cracks me up.

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Good News Friday

Some happy news to close out the week. Been a tough week with losing Quinn, and then this morning I had to take Willie to the vet because he’s stopped eating. He hoovers up everything in sight and has a serious shoe fetish so I’m worried it will be one of these scenarios. On top of that, I’m coming down with a sinus infection. Just in time for Valentine’s Day. Blech. So, happy thoughts.

• PA’s governor has put a moratorium on the state’s death penalty.

• Bipartisanship! A bill to help veterans with PTSD has been signed into law.

• After a Los Angeles Times report detailed horrific conditions in the Mexican agricultural industry that supplies America’s supermarket chains, Wal-Mart announced that it’s teaming with the Mexican government to improve farmworkers’ conditions. Also:

The group represents growers and distributors that handle 90% of Mexico’s produce exports to the United States, which have tripled over the last decade and now exceed $7.5 billion a year.

Separately, Wal-Mart said it is taking action to ensure that workers are treated with “respect and dignity,” reminding its in-house buyers that they should buy produce only from farms that meet the company’s standards for decent treatment of workers.

Wal-Mart also said it will ask outside suppliers to certify that they have visited “any new facility they plan to use for Wal-Mart production” and that the facilities meet company standards.

Wal-Mart said it would send a team of senior leaders to attend meetings with growers involved with the new initiative, called the International Produce Alliance to Promote a Socially Responsible Industry. Senior executives have also been assigned to examine ways to partner with other groups to improve conditions.

• Apple Inc. announced a 25-year, $848 million deal to buy solar power from First Solar, in what has been called the solar industry’s largest corporate power purchase agreement.

• Southern states are seeing Obamacare signups increase from 80-100% over last year. As these are some of the unhealthiest states in the entire U.S., this is very good news.

• A St. Petersburg, FL man tore down his home-made gun range that he’d built in his front yard.

• Net neutrality may actually happen.

• A Detroit-area man who walked 21 miles to work every day for 10 years has been given a new car, and a crowdfunding campaign will pay for the maintenance and insurance.

• Justice: the Montana man who set a trap and ultimately shot and killed a German exchange student, then tried to use a “castle doctrine” defense, has been sentenced to 70-years in prison.

• Justice 2: the police officer who assaulted an Indian grandfather visiting his grandson in a Huntsville, Alabama suburb has been fired and arrested for assault. Horrible story, and it all started because some neighborhood idiot called in about a suspicious “skinny black guy.”

• On Monday Alabama became the 37th state where gay marriage is legal.

• Tesla batteries could soon power your home.

Mars, bitches!

Good News, Tennessee Edition:

Congrats to Kingsport native and Paralympian Blake Leeper, who will play in the Celebrity All-Star Game during the NBA’s All-Star Weekend. Leeper won the silver medal in the 400-meter dash during the 2012 Paralympic Games in London.

This week’s video is a trip into the cultural memory hole. How we used to say the Pledge of Allegiance:

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Good News Friday

Got your good news! Huzzah!

• Jobs, jobs, jobs: the past three months have seen the U.S. economy produce jobs at a rate not seen since 1997.

• The 10 Safest Cities In The World: if you are surprised that New York City was the only American city to make the list, join the club.

• Useful idiot: Unlicensed open carry legislation is dead in Texas after the head of Open Carry Tarrant County threatened legislators who voted against the bills with death “for treason.”

• A Kazakh herder in Northern China found a 17-pound gold nugget while resting in the mining area of Altay.

• Vietnam decriminalized gay marriage.

• Asia Pulp & Paper, which in 2013 committed to halt rainforest deforestation, appears to be making good on that promise, according to the Rainforest Alliance.

Republicans’ filibuster chickens have come home to roost. Good news? Maybe not, but after 8 years of Republican obstructionism I think we’re entitled to a little schadenfreude.

• U.S. energy efficiency is on the increase, coal is dying, and renewable energy is surging: there’s a lot of good news on the American energy front.

• Harper’s Lee’s first novel, thought lost, has been found and will be published this summer. Can’t wait.

• The CIA agent who’s been in prison for blowing the whistle on the U.S. torture program is now fulfilling the remainder of his sentence at home with his family.

• Not good news, but file this under weird news: in 2008 the Pentagon authored a report claiming Vladimir Putin has Asperger’s Syndrome:

The research was conducted by the Office of Net Assessment, a secretive, internal Pentagon think tank. It defined Asperger’s syndrome as “an autistic disorder which affects all of his decisions.”

The analysis is solely based on videos of Putin’s public actions, dating back to the year 2000. The researchers did not claim to have access to any data from scans of Putin’s brain.

According to the report, “Putin’s neurological development was significantly interrupted in infancy.”

The study also hypothesizes that Putin suffered an “insult” to his brain while he was still in his mother’s womb and that she may have suffered a stroke while pregnant with him. Researchers theorized that may have affected the way Putin thinks and moves the right side of his body.

“His primary form of compensation for his disorder is extreme control and this is reflected in his decision style and how he governs,” the report says.

Hmm. Video diagnoses? Wonder if ex-Sen. Bill Frist was involved?

• Ten Frank Lloyd Wright buildings have been nominated to the list of World Heritage Sites by the U.S. Department of the Interior. Mr. Beale and I are huge Frank Lloyd Wright fans. We’ve seen five of the 10 nominated sites. Yes, we’re geeks.

• In the mother of all ironies, the Tea Party group True The Vote, which challenges voter eligibility, found that 59% of the voters stricken from Kansas’ voter rolls in a recent “anti-voter fraud” purge are actually eligible to vote. Major fail all around.

Good News, Tennessee Edition:

• The Tennessee Highway Patrol’s canine units get protective vests.

• The Tennessee State Supreme Court has ruled against Barrett Firearms over a land dispute. It’s an interesting case with a lot of moving pieces to it, but basically Barrett was hoping the State of Tennessee would in essence bail them out of their obligations on an access road. Corporate welfare, etc.

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Good News Friday

Well, crap. WordPress ate my earlier post where I whined about killing the blog. Whatevs.

• Researchers in Australia have made a breakthrough in curing peanut allergies.

• A 70-year-old North Carolina man has been exonerated after serving nearly 40 years of a life sentence for double murder.

• The free hand of the market has spoken and it does not like the death penalty: Ohio postpones all executions after state is unable to obtain lethal injection drugs.

• A rare Sierra Nevada red fox seen in Yosemite National Park, the first of its kind seen in the area in 100 years.

• Arkansas high school football star invites girl with genetic disorder to prom. Let’s hope this isn’t Carrie II.

• The Church of England ordained its first female bishop. Congratulations, Libby Lane.

• “Literary time capsule” now readable thanks to science: a new technique will allow scholars to read brittle papyrus rolls found in the ash of Mt. Vesuvius.

• House Republicans drop their 20-week abortion ban bill over concerns from female Republican lawmakers.

Good News, Tennessee Edition:

• Congratulations, Chelsey Davis of Pellissippi State Community College, who was invited to the State of the Union address as a guest of First Lady Michelle Obama.

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Good News Friday

A day late and a dollar short: here’s a smattering of good news, sorry it’s not up to my usual standards. Life, you know.

• Attorney General Eric Holder has curtailed the use of civil seizure.

• Harry Potter fans won a long battle to get Warner Bros. to use only fair trade or UTZ-certified chocolate in Harry Potter chocolate products sold at Warner Bros. stores.

• They found the missing Beagle 2 Mars rover.

• In a stunning rebuke to the NRA, Michigan’s Republican governor vetoed two pro-gun bills that removed protections for domestic violence victims at risk.

• New York City bans foam packaging, the largest U.S. city to do so.

• Major victory for the progressive wing of the Democratic Party and all who oppose the revoling door between Wall Street and government regulators: Antonio Weiss has withdrawn from consideration to be the Under Secretary for Domestic Finance at the Treasury Department.

• South Dakota’s same-sex marriage ban has been ruled unconstitutional by a federal judge.

• Wendy’s to drop sodas from its Kid’s meals.

• Hero Maine Coon cat saves abandoned Russian baby from freezing to death. Just … wow.

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Good News Friday

Our last good news post for the year! Looking forward to 2015, I’ve gotta say. 2014 sucked on a lot of levels. Good riddance, and don’t let the door hitya …

• The U.S. economy’s growth last quarter was its strongest in 10 years.

• The Feds have issued indictments against Freedom Industries, including the company’s former president, in regards to a chemical spill that contaminated the water supply serving 300,000 people.

• A panel of the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals has voted to strike down North Carolina’s heinous ultrasound law.

• Washington State’s new background check law netted a wanted man who attempted to buy a gun at a gun show.

• In Montana, a jury found the shooter of a 17-year-old German exchange student guilty of murder, despite the state’s “castle doctrine.”

• Elton John and David Furnish were married in the UK on Sunday.

• A federal appeals court struck down Florida’s law requiring welfare recipients be tested for drugs. Tennessee has a similar law. Of course it does.

• The Tennessee Valley Authority has dropped a rule whereby it would have cut down any tree in its easement area that would grow higher than 15 feet. This affects a seven-state area.

• NASA e-mailed a wrench to the International Space Station. Cool.

• Scientists discovered a brand-new fish in the Mariana Trench, 26,000 feet under water. Amazing that we’re still finding stuff.

And here’s this week’s cool video: I’m just cynical enough to wonder if this video isn’t a hoax, which is pretty sad. It’s billed as “douchy internet prankster wonders what homeless people do with the money you give them, gets humbled by the answer.” Real or not real? You decide:

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Good News Friday

Lots of good news this week! And probably quite a lot that I missed, too. Enjoy!

• President Obama is the worst lame duck president ever: this week he announced plans to restore diplomatic ties to Cuba. Republicans are going apeshit but hey, they can always go out and make us some new enemies, right? It’s what they’re best at. On a related note, American Alan Gross was released after five years in a Cuban prison.

• Reversing a Bush Administration rule, transgender workers will now be protected under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.

• Saying it’s “too precious for us to be putting out to the highest bidder,” President Obama has blocked oil and gas drilling in Bristol Bay, Alaska.

• New York state will pursue a ban on fracking.

• The Vatican has concluded its investigation of American nuns begun under Pope Benedict XVI and it seems they are in the clear. This was the weirdest story ever.

• The U.S. Supreme Court has let stand a 9th Circuit Court of Appeals decision stating Arizona must give driver’s licenses to young immigrants. Another setback for Arizona’s immigrant-bashing governor.

• A wrongful death lawsuit has been filed against the manufacturer, distributor and seller of the gun Adam Lanza used to slaughter 26 innocent people at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

• Walmart owes workers $188 million in overtime pay, says the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.

• A fetal heartbeat bill died in Ohio’s House.

• Over objections of the NRA, the U.S. Senate confirmed Dr. Vivek Murthy as Surgeon General.

• Tucked into the Cromnibus bill was an item which effectively eliminated the federal government’s longstanding ban on medical marijuana.

• Over a dozen people have been arrested in connection with the deadly meningitis outbreak from 2012 that started at a compounding pharmacy.

• A criminal complaint has been filed against Bush Administration officials in regards to the use of torture.

Good News, Tennessee Edition:

• Nashville and Chattanooga have joined the Cities For Citizenship coalition, which seeks to increase citizenship among immigrant members of the population who are eligible.

• Gov. Haslam has agreed to expand Medicaid in the state. Haslam and Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey are pretending their plan is something more principled and conservative than every other plan out there but I just don’t see it, and neither do Tea Partiers, who are apoplectic:

• The Beacon Center of Tennessee

“The Beacon Center of Tennessee firmly opposes Governor Haslam’s move to expand Medicaid and the reach of Obamacare’s tentacles into our state. As our recent study with State Budget Solutions and Federalism in Action exposed, President Obama’s Medicaid expansion would cost our state’s economy $3.6 billion, while causing more than 67,000 Tennesseans to lose their jobs.”‎

and …

• Americans for Prosperity Tennessee

“We’re disappointed Governor Haslam has decided to try implementing more of ObamaCare in Tennessee, even as many of his colleagues in other states have held the line and protected their constituents from this disastrous law. Hybrid plans in other states have proven to be little more than expansion by another name, and our volunteers plan on engaging aggressively, as that is likely to be the case here in Tennessee.”

• Two Tennessee teachers survived 73 days under water.

• Wingnut state Rep. Rick Womick’s not getting anywhere with his abortion ultrasound bill.

• There is bipartisan legislation to end racial profiling by state law enforcement.

• A Nashville singer won The Voice. Congratulations, Craig Wayne Boyd! Okay, I don’t watch that show so I have no idea what kind of singer Boyd is but I’m gonna guess he swings country.

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