The Friday Faxline
Issue 368, August 6, 2004
District fire departments score federal grants
The Department of Homeland Security's Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program (AFGP) awards one-year grants directly to fire departments to support the nation's firefighters and the services they deliver. Three fire companies in our district have received federal grants under this program in the last two weeks: Bart Township Fire Company ($40,932), Millersville Fire Company ($108,905), West Chester Fire Department ($295,090). These funds will help these companies keep us safe.
President announces faith-based grants
President Bush announced $188 million in grants to help faith-based and community organizations across the United States provide assistance to those in need. The grants included $43 million for the Compassion Capital Fund; $45.5 million for mentoring children of prisoners; and nearly $100 million for the "Access to Recovery" program to provide Americans with substance abuse treatment vouchers in order to access the most effective programs.
Missouri vote, Washington court
Seventy-two percent of Missouri's voters on Tuesday chose to amend the state constitution to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman. The following day a judge struck down Washington State's Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). King County Superior Court Judge William Downing ruled that Washington State must issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples - even though Washington is one of 38 states with a state law defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman. The issue is unlikely to go away anytime soon.
Hastert calls for tax reform
In his new book, Speaker, House Speaker Dennis Hastert says that a top priority in Congress over the next four years should be exchanging our present tax system for a simpler model. The Speaker says that doing so is critical to our long-term economic health and would save millions in accounting and legal fees for farmers and small business owners who are forced to hire professionals to complete complex tax forms and adhere to confusing tax laws.
UN to tax United States' activity?
France and Germany, backed by Chile and U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan signed an declaration earlier this year, backing the concept of a U.N. tax on arms sales and financial transactions to boost funding for global efforts to combat poverty and hunger. The issue is strongly opposed by key players in the global economy like the United States, Japan, and Germany, but strongly supported by many U.N. member states. The U.N. is currently conducting studies on various proposals to make this happen. The results should be released next month, according to IISD Linkages, a "multimedia resource for environment and development policy makers."
Quote of the Week
"You know, I think, Christopher Reeve's best chances and people that we serve at Joni and Friends, thousands of disabled people and their families, our best chances, my best chance as a person with a spinal cord injury to get a viable cure is through pouring all the effort and all the attention in developing therapies using adult stem cells."
Joni Eareckson Tada, 8/3/2004, on CNN's Larry King Live addressing the issue of stem cell research and Christopher Reeve's optimism. Full transcript: