Tag Archives: documents

REAL ID Fright Fest 2015, Oklahoma Edition

Headlines 2015

Kaye Beach | Oct. 6, 2015

The headlines are scary.

Vaguely worded policies issued by the federal Department of Homeland Security and sensational headlines have allowed misconceptions about the actual consequences of not having a REAL ID to grow.

The very worst possible consequences of not having not having a REAL ID card are actually quite minimal.

To refresh your memory- the REAL ID Act was passed with little to no debate in Congress in 2005 as a rider to a ‘must pass’ military and disaster relief funding bill.  The most controversial portion of the law imposes federal standards upon state driver’s licenses and ID documents.  And contrary to media reports, the REAL ID Act does require the collection and digital retention of every driver license applicants’ biometric facial image.  This fact is acknowledged by the National Conference of State Legislatures as well as other policy professionals so you don’t have to take my word for it.

nscl

The biometric and other personal information is required to be shared among the states and is accessible to the federal government.
The consequences for having a REAL ID are far more disturbing than the consequences for not having a REAL ID  which can be summed up like this; Someday, if you do not have a REAL ID compliant driver’s license or one of the umpteen acceptable alternatives, the TSA will look you up in their database to make sure that you are really you and you may be subject to a secondary screening which generally means you will be asked to either go through the naked scanner or get a pat down and they will look in your bags. That’s about it so why are we being treated to this over the top fright fest?
Because fear is one of the only tools DHS has to get the states to comply

Jim Harper at Cato explains:

Right now, the Department of Homeland Security is sending out emissaries to tell state leaders that their residents might soon feel the TSA’s wrath. State motor vehicle bureaucrats and pro-national ID groups are joining them in the effort to herd state leaders over the national ID cliff.
But the threat of TSA enforcement is an empty one. REAL ID “deadlines” have come and gone many times. No state has ever come into compliance with REAL ID. No state will be in compliance in 2016. And the TSA will not begin a program to prevent Americans from traveling by air.

The adoption of the REAL ID standards is (by law) is voluntary for the states. This is not a mandate so implementation can only be accomplished gradually by persuading (or intimidating) the states into compliance. Since the law is so controversial (not to mention convoluted and costly!) states have little incentive to adopt the REAL ID standards.
No one really seems to want a REAL ID — unless they think that the consequences for not having one might be dire.

“. . .by requiring Real ID-compliant licenses to board commercial aircraft, the law could put a lot of public pressure on states to issue licenses that meet its standards.”
Source: USA Today, Real ID is slowly changing state drivers’ licenses, Jan. 22, 2014

Oklahoma has been granted an extension by the Dept. of Homeland Security. An extension means that the state’s driver’s license and ID cards will be accepted just as if the ID was fully REAL ID compliant.
From the Dept. of Homeland Security, REAL ID Enforcement in Brief:
“Individuals holding driver’s licenses or identification cards from these jurisdiction may continue to use them as before.”
The jurisdiction referred to are states where their licenses have been “(1) determined to meet the Act’s standards; or (2) that have received extensions.”

This means that Oklahoma ID’s are acceptable for flying, entering specified federal buildings and entering a nuclear facility, 3 of the four “official purposes” that will require a REAL ID.  There are FOUR official purposes that require a REAL ID but I have yet to hear the media cover the fourth purpose even once.

The REAL ID final rules require a REAL ID complaint driver’s license or ID card for certain specified “official purposes” (defined in Sec 201 of the Act.)
#1 Entering Federal facilities
#2 boarding a Federally-regulated commercial aircraft
#3 Entering a nuclear power plant
and
#4 Any other purpose established by the Secretary of Homeland Security
(Real ID Final Rules http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2008-01-29/pdf/08-140.pdf)

The fourth official purpose is what a good friend of mine refers to as the “dictator clause”  It means just what it says.  The Secretary of Homeland Security can add any other purpose he or she wisher.  No congressional review – no nothing.  Would it bother you if you were required to present your biometric national ID for say….ammo?

That fourth purpose could come in handy for just about anything that needs to be monitored, rationed or controlled.  Ask Oklahoma media to cover THAT!

The DHS will be reviewing the progress of states that have received extensions this month. I predict that Oklahoma will be granted another extension.

On Dec. 29, 2014, the Dept. Of Homeland Security extended the deadline for enforcement upon states that have an extension or are deemed compliant with REAL ID until Oct. 1, 2020. Oklahoma appears to exempt from enforcement until 2020.

In the worst-case-scenario, one where the DHS refuses to grant our state and extension and we become subject to enforcement in order to board a plane “no sooner than 2016,”  it’s still not going to be a big deal for Okies.

Not once has it been publicly asserted by the Department of Homeland Security or the TSA that not having a REAL ID compliant license would ever be a basis for denying a person the ability to board a commercial aircraft or that a U.S. Passport is the only accepted alternative to REAL ID
Clarifying statements have been made by DHS officials though, they just aren’t the ones that make the headlines.
For example, Darrell Williams, former Senior Director, Office of State Issued ID Support, Department of Homeland Security, testified before a Congressional subcommittee that there are a variety of identification alternatives to a REAL ID and that not having a REAL ID compliant license will not prevent a person from boarding a plane. He went on to say to say that even individuals with NO FORM OF ID at all can still be permitted to fly.

Williams TSA REAL ID

Mr. Williams as the former Director of the REAL ID program for the Department of Homeland Security with (which directs the Transportation Security Administration) is very familiar with the policies of both agencies. No publicly available official statement on the matter of REAL ID and boarding a federally regulated commercial aircraft refutes Mr. Williams’ testimony.

Here is the TSA’s list of preferred ID documents:
• Driver’s licenses or other state photo identity cards issued by Department of Motor Vehicles (or equivalent)
• U.S. passport
• U.S. passport card
• DHS trusted traveler cards (Global Entry, NEXUS, SENTRI, FAST)
• U.S. military ID (active duty or retired military and their dependents, and DoD civilians)
• Permanent resident card
• Border crossing card
• DHS-designated enhanced driver’s license
• Airline or airport-issued ID (if issued under a TSA-approved security plan)
• Federally recognized, tribal-issued photo ID
• HSPD-12 PIV card
• Foreign government-issued passport
• Canadian provincial driver’s license or Indian and Northern Affairs Canada card
• Transportation worker identification credential
http://www.tsa.gov/travel/security-screening/identification

Here the TSA goes into a bit more detail regarding its identity verification procedures:

“TSA prefers that passengers use an acceptable ID at the checkpoint and only publishes the acceptable forms of primary ID, such as a driver’s license and passport on its website. However, we understand that, due to extenuating circumstances a passenger may not have an acceptable form of ID when attempting to travel on a commercial aircraft. Therefore, TSA has alternate means to verify identity in order to allow a passenger to travel and may rely on a variety of government-issued documents, commercial databases, and other agencies to verify passenger identity. The alternative means to establish identity are not published on the website in part because TSA prefers that passengers use acceptable ID.

The TSA website informs passengers that, if they do not have acceptable ID, they can alternatively provide additional information and undergo additional screening in order to be cleared. Specifically, the website informs the public that: “If you are willing to provide additional information, we have other ways to confirm your identity, like using publicly available databases, so you can reach your flight.”
(TSA response to congressional inquiry Aug. 7, 2014
https://www.scribd.com/doc/237497624/TSA-Doc)

No one is going to have to get a passport or be barred from flying due to the REAL ID Act.

Sparks Real ID

This press released today by the Oklahoma Senate certainly sounds dire.

Can you imagine if people were unable to enter the Social Security office?  What if you were asked to appear in Federal Court and you don’t have a REAL ID?  What would happen?

Apparently nothing.

REAL ID Act of 2005 Implementation: An Interagency Security Committee Guide
Aug 2015, Interagency Security Committee
“…there is no requirement to produce a REAL ID Act compliant ID to enter a Federal facility for accessing health or life preserving services (including hospitals and health clinics), law enforcement (including participating in law enforcement proceedings or investigations), participating in constitutionally protected activities (including a defendant’s or spectator’s access to court proceedings, access by jurors or potential jurors), voting or registering to vote, or applying for or receiving Federal benefits…”
https://www.dhs.gov/sites/default/files/publications/isc-real-id-guide-august-2015-508_0.pdf

According to the Department of Homeland Security
REAL ID does NOT apply to the following:
• Entering Federal facilities that do not require a person to present identification
• Voting or registering to vote
• Applying for or receiving Federal benefits
• Being licensed by a state to drive
• Accessing Health or life preserving services (including hospitals and health clinics), law enforcement, or constitutionally protected activities (including a defendant’s access to court proceedings)
• Participating in law enforcement proceedings or investigations

There is too much fear, uncertainty and doubt being pumped out by the media and state officials for me to address in just one post so expect more posts soon.  Until then – don’t let them scare you!

Advertisements

Missouri compliance with REAL ID has Lt. Gov., CCW permit holders up in arms

States that Stand Against REAL ID - Really?

States that Stand Against REAL ID – Really?

Kaye Beach

March 10, 2013

Residents of Missouri are in an uproar following the discovery that their state is apparently continuing to implement the REAL ID Act requirements in Missouri despite the fact that the state passed a law prohibiting the implementation of Real ID.

Though Missouri isn’t one of the 19 states certified by the Department of Homeland Security as REAL ID compliant, its steps towards compliance is raising privacy concerns by handgun carry permit holders and state lawmakers.

Source:  Real ID Act raises privacy concerns for Mo. handgun carry permit holders, March 6, 2013, Examiner.com

Opponents of The Real ID Act of 2005 span the political spectrum and not least among these opponents has always been those who value their right to keep and bear arms.  This may be one of the first visible eruptions at the inevitable intersection of Real ID and gun rights.  It will not be the last.

According to Lt. Governor Peter Kinder, Eric Griffin went to his Department of Motor Vehicles fee office after he passed the application process for a concealed carry gun permit. Griffin refused to let DMV employees scan some of his documentation and he was subsequently denied a permit.

Source:  Real ID Act raises privacy concerns for Mo. handgun carry permit holders, March 6, 2013, Examiner.com

From the Missouri Watchdog, March 6, 2013;

“What is going on is improper and is a new and illegal impediment to citizens’ rights to obtain a concealed-carry permit,” said Stoddard County prosecutor Russell Oliver, who is acting as the private attorney for plaintiff Eric Griffin.

The state statute governing the actions of the Department of Revenue forbids it from disclosing such personal information as photographs, driver’s license numbers, names and addresses without express consent.

In investigating the matter, Oliver said, he discovered that a third-party company — Morphotrust — licenses the equipment. On its website, the company says it’s a partner with all states and many federal agencies in providing “identity solutions” “to simplify, protect and secure the lives of the American people.”

Oliver said he’s not sure how long the Morphotrust scanning machines have been in place or how far-reaching they are in Missouri license fee offices. Stoddard County is in the southeast corner of the state.

“This is new, at least it’s new to us,” said Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder, who joined Oliver at the Capitol in announcing the lawsuit.

. . .Oliver and Kinder said the DOR may be collecting the information to comply with the federal Real ID Act of 2005, but they said the state opted out of that law and instead implemented its own in response.

Read more

IntelWire: FBI Releases Redacted Informant Manuals In Response To FOIA

Kaye Beach
Nov. 1,  2012
Salt Lake City attorney, Jesse Trentadue,  has become legendary for his dogged determination to find the truth about his brother, Kenneth Trentadue’s brutal murder while in custody at the Federal Transfer Center located in Oklahoma City in 1995.
On August 18, 1995, Kenneth Trentadue was confined in the Federal Bureau of Prisons’ Federal Transfer Center (“FTC”) in Oklahoma City, after being arrested for a parole violation.  Two days later he was dead. When the Bureau of Prisons ruled his death a suicide his family became alarmed, knowing Kenneth had no reason to end his life. Thus began a 17-year journey to find the truth. Read more
 Jesse Trentadue has yet to gain justice for his brother, Kenneth, but he has repeatedly shined the light on many facts about the inner workings of our government, particularly the FBI that is of great benefit to the public at large.
Here is the latest.
According to a federal lawsuit filed on Oct. 18, 2012 by Trentadue;
“FBI defendants’ disturbing practice of using private citizens as spies in the media, on defense teams, in religious organizations as well as state and federal government is designed to and does result in the circumvention of the protections guaranteed to American citizens by the Bill of Rights and the Separation of Powers Doctrine.”
You can read these documents at INTELWIRE.
Sunday, October 28, 201

FBI Releases Redacted Informant Manuals In Response To FOIA

Documents obtained by Salt Lake City attorney Jesse Trentadue reveal new details about the FBI’s rules of conduct for informants.

The FBI released 147 pages of heavily redacted manuals and policies related to the use of informants, in response to a FOIA request by Trentadue, who is engaged in a years-long lawsuit with the FBI over documents related to the Oklahoma City bombing.

Read the documents here

Read more from INTELWIRE

Jesse Trentadue exposes who the FBI uses for informants

Kaye Beach

Oct 31, 2012

Extremely interesting information uncovered by Jesse Trentadue published in the Oklahoma Gazette.

Jerry Bohnen October 31st, 2012

If Salt Lake City attorney Jesse Trentadue is right, there are journalists around the country who also happen to be informants for the FBI.

And the journalists might not be alone. FBI informants might also be found on the White House staff, in the offices of U.S. congressmen, in the courts and among the clergy

. . .

In Trentadue’s latest attempt to gather information on the bombing and its possible connection to his brother’s death, he filed a federal lawsuit Oct. 18 demanding the DOJ and the FBI surrender unredacted manuals that reveal the existence of a government program for recruiting and training informants.

Trentadue said he has proof that the manuals exist as well as government documentation on an ABC News executive identified by an FBI informant number. His lawsuit states: “FBI defendants’ disturbing practice of using private citizens as spies in the media, on defense teams, in religious organizations as well as state and federal government is designed to and does result in the circumvention of the protections guaranteed to American citizens by the Bill of Rights and the Separation of Powers Doctrine.”

Read More

Documents Show FBI Warned Of Murrah Bombing

Kaye Beach

Feb. 5, 2011

Jesse Trentadue’s unrelenting struggle for the truth about the death of his brother, Kenneth Trentdue, provides new revelations.

Posted Feb 5, 2011 on The McCarvile Report:

Documents Show FBI Warned Of Murrah Bombing

By Jerry Bohnen/NewsRadio 1000 KTOK ~ The federal government attempted in 2005 to reach a deal with bomber Terry Nichols to take the death penalty off the table in his Oklahoma murder trial if he admitted to making a warning phone call to the FBI the day before the 1995 bombing, according to new documents released under the Freedom of Information Act.

The documents were released to Jesse Trentadue, the Salt Lake City attorney who’s been in a 15-year fight with the federal government to prove his brother, Kenneth Trentadue, was mistakenly beaten to death during an FBI interrogation because he closely resembled a man who ran with Tim McVeigh in robbing banks.

From INTELWIRE Feb 3, 2011

FBI Lab Took Nearly Three Years To Analyze Terry Nichols Bomb Cache

The FBI Laboratory took 34 months to check for fingerprints on a cache of explosives hidden by Oklahoma City bombing conspirator Terry Nichols, according to new documents released by the FBI under the Freedom of Information Act.

The cache of explosives was discovered in 2005 in connection with a threat that they would be used in an act of domestic terrorism and a claim that the fingerprints might point to an unindicted co-conspirator in the Oklahoma City bombing.

The documents were obtained by Salt Lake City attorney Jesse Trentadue.

Read More and download the documents

Edmond Oklahoma Info for Citizens Planning to Survive Sustainability

Kaye Beach

Dec. 30, 201o

This is a collection of links and info that I have gathered pertaining to Oklahoma, (The City of Edmond in particular) and Sustainable Development since the Dec 6, 2010 Edmond Forum on Sustainability.

There is a list of resources and information about “sustainable development” at the bottom of this page.

For those researching this issue, I hope this info proves helpful to you.

_____

EDMOND City Government Defines Sustainability-

Defining Sustainability

Sustainable development can be defined as meeting the needs of the present without jeopardizing the needs of future generations.  For the City of Edmond this concept applies to municipal operations, land use decisions, transportation choices, and natural resources.

Read More

The City of Edmond’s Environmentally-Friendly, Conservation, and Energy Efficiency Programs

December 17, 2010

City defines ICLEI ties

James Coburn The Edmond Sun

Shannon Entz, community development manager, said the City of Edmond is a member of the International Council of Local Environmental Governments, which became a source of contention with some residents at a public forum Dec. 6.

. . .Entz told The Edmond Sun that the City of Edmond became a member of ICLEI USA in November 2009 and renewed this November. The dues are $1,200 per year, she said. (paid by public-tax payer monies)

The city has not decided on a date or format for the next Sustainability Forum, she said.

“This will take some thoughtful consideration given the outcome of the first forum,” Entz said.

I guess people actually showing up with all of those questions and opinions screwed up the consensus process. They need to gain your agreement (your silence will suffice) to give everything the appearance of legitimacy.  You try to gripe later and they will say –

“Sorry, you should have said something when you had the chance”

Are questions from the taxpayers of Edmond about the use of their money and plans that might affect their lives and property inappropriate?  Who is Shannon Entz answerable to?  Obviously NOT the citizens of Edmond.

The Edmond Sun explains;

That Dec. 6 forum ended abruptly after about 200 residents broke into arguments with city staff members about the definition of sustainability and concerns about individual property rights. Some attendees also contended that ICLEI is part of a United Nations program they referred to as Agenda 21.

Read More City defines ICLEI ties


Listen to and learn from the Experts.


ICLEI-USA says;

Understanding Sustainability Planning

Municipal codes are the legal mechanisms by which local governments implement goals for sustainability.

With few exceptions, state statutes require localities to regulate community development through code provision.

Ideally, zoning code directives originate from consensus-driven policy planning for land use, transportation, housing, natural resources, economic development, social equity, culture, and so on. For many communities, coordinating these efforts is best done through one overarching policy plan. Master plans (i.e., comprehensive plans, general plans) are a framework to achieve community goals.

Sustainability plans take a similarly holistic approach—though in a different style. Divided into three areas, these plans typically address the “three pillars” of sustainability: environment, economy, and society.

Goals for transportation, land use, housing, culture, and so on, are incorporated across the pillars.

Sustainability plans also address contemporary issues such as climate change, carbon emissions regulation, globalization, and energy in greater detail.

Read More


The International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI) is the international environmental agency for local governments. It was established in 1990 at the World Congress of Local Governments for a Sustainable Future. The congress was held at the United Nations in New York in response to the needs of local authorities;cities, towns and counties;that are taking on increasing responsibility as managers of both the local and global environment.

ICLEI and its membership are currently acting in response to several of the objectives established for the world community at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) held in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. (Emphasis mine)

UN Conference on Environment and Development

At UNCED, ICLEI, along with local authorities and other local authority associations, played an active role in raising the profile of local governments as managers of the local and global environment. Chapter 28 of Agenda 21, which resulted from these efforts, calls upon local authorities around the world to undertake a consultative process with their communities to establish their own local Agenda 21s by 1996. This Local Agenda 21 mandate, introduced and championed by ICLEI in the Earth Summit’s preparatory process, has been taken up by more than 1200 local authorities around the world.(Emphasis mine)

In the early stages of the project, ICLEI developed and presented a general approach to local sustainable development planning called Strategic Services Planning (SSP). The SSP approach was then presented to prospective participants through a series of regional workshops. During the workshops, participants reviewed and revised the planning elements in order to adapt the SSP to their own unique needs. They exchanged planning ideas and experiences and began to prepare work plans for their Local Agenda 21 efforts

The United States campaign was introduced in November 1994 at the annual conference of the National League of Cities. Eight months later, the local councils of 15 cities had agreed to the campaign commitments.

Results

ICLEI and its members of local authorities from large and small communities around the globe are rising to the challenges identified in Rio and achieving concrete results. (Emphasis mine)

In doing so, we should expect that, in combination, the independent actions of local governments and their communities that are responding to the objectives identified at UNCED will produce a ripple effect of responsible social and environmental behaviour that will ultimately encompass the globe.

Read More

From ICLEIUSA.org

Milestone Award Winners in the South Central Region

by Samantha Hughes, South Central Regional Intern, Apr 04, 2010

Congratulations to the 17 local governments across Colorado, Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Arizona that have received an ICLEI Milestone Award to recognize their achievements through our Five Milestones for Climate Mitigation process or our Five Milestones for Sustainability process.

In addition to our congratulations, we’d also like to say thanks to staff from these local governments, who conducted check-in calls with us in the first quarter. We appreciate your willingness to communicate what’s going on in your community — it gives us that much more of an opportunity to highlight your success. Click below to view the local government winners and see what Milestones they have achieved…

Read more »

What Is ICLEI’s Five Milestone Process?

A little refresher:

Five Milestones for Climate Mitigation

  • Milestone One: Conduct a baseline emissions inventory and forecast
  • Milestone Two: Adopt an emissions reduction target for the forecast year
  • Milestone Three: Develop a local climate action plan
  • Milestone Four: Implement policies and measures
  • Milestone Five: Monitor and verify results

Five Milestones for Sustainability

  • Milestone One: Conduct a sustainability assessment
  • Milestone Two: Establish sustainability goals
  • Milestone Three: Develop a local sustainability plan
  • Milestone Four: Implement policies and measures
  • Milestone Five: Evaluate progress and report results

http://www.icleiusa.org/blog/archive/2010/04/04/milestone-award-winners-in-the-south-central-region

ARRA, EECBG, DOE funds and more. ICLEI shows local governments how to really go “green”!

ICLEI USA is committed to helping its members access this funding and use it wisely.

Bookmark and check this page often for the latest economic recovery funding updates and application instructions.


ICLEI Explains:

The Basics – International Climate Negotiations and the UNFCCC Explained

What is the UNFCCC?

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is an international treaty with the objective of addressing climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and to adapt to the inevitable challenges that will arise from a warming planet. Nearly every country on Earth is a party to the UNFCCC, and each year they meet at a Conference of the Parties (COP).  For example, COP16 was the 16th meeting of the Parties, held in Cancun.

-Our Agents of Change program brings delegations of U.S.-based youth to conferences and summits related to international policy, primarily at the United Nations. Our delegates work with government delegates, fellow civil society members, and other youth to promote youth-friendly and future-focused policies related to sustainable development and climate change. Follow the links below to learn more about our involvement:

UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)
UN Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD)
UN Commission for Social Development (CSocD)

What role does Oklahoma have at a conference like this?

Eric Pollard

Oklahoma could play a huge role in the domestic advancement of action on climate change through renewable energy policy and infrastructure development in the US … http://pollardtopoland.blogspot.com/search?updated-max=2008-12-11T02%3A33%3A00-08%3A00&max-results=7

One of the technological tools used to implement sustainable development is GIS


ESRI’s commitment to developing interoperable technology sets the stage for cooperation between organizations so that they can make well-informed decisions. GIS software allows users across the globe to share ideas on how to meet their resource needs, plan efficient land use, and protect the environment to guarantee the survival of future generations.

Read More about GIS, Sustainable Development and its use in Edmond.

Okies get Mapped! GIS For Sustainable Development


When and Where are Meetings and events held in Edmond?

Calendar of Events

http://edmondok.com/service/calendar

Meeting notices (be sure to refresh)

http://edmondok.com/government/cityclerk/meetings

___

Edmond Email Updates

Stay informed by signing-up for City of Edmond email updates.

http://edmondok.com/service/email

Edmond City Data

Stay in touch with city government

From the City of Edmond home page-We operate under a Council-Manager form of government established by the 1925 Charter. The Mayor and Council are the policy-making and legislative body, and appoint the City Manager as well as the City Attorney and Municipal Judges. The City Manager provides centralized direction and leadership for the day-to-day administration of city services. Link

Directory

Research City Laws

The City Clerk is the legal custodian of Edmond’s official records, including the Code of Ordinances enacted by Edmond City Councils since 1925, when our city was chartered.

As a convenience for our citizens who may like more information about specific laws or regulations, an online database is available for research.

The link below will take you to a non-city web site.

Edmond Code of Ordinances

Who’s Who?

These are some of the people that appear to have a significant role in Edmond’s Sustainability effort.

Edmond’s Sustainability Planner is Phil Jones

Former GIS Analyst II at City of Edmond link

The Oklahoman2010-03-20

EDMOND — Edmond is earning a reputation for its “green infrastructure” development in changes to its transportation, drainage, energy, water and waste management systems. Thanks to a grant from the state Department of Agriculture, Forestry Services, the city is widening its vision and plans to share the details during the Green Infrastructure Initiative’s Annual Stakeholder meeting from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday at the Downtown Community Center. Edmond Sustainability Planner Phil Jones said the event will “educate people and give them the direction we’re heading.”

Mr Wantland (I did not make this up!) is a member of Sustainable Edmond

Russell serves on the Central Edmond Urban Development Board, is a member of the Oklahoma Bar Association, the Urban Land Institute, Oklahoma Venture Forum, Sustainable Edmond, and recently served as a steering committee member for development of the City of Edmond’s 50-year water supply plan.

Wantland was named to Oklahoma Super Lawyers – Rising Stars in 2009.

Broken links   Contact Russell Wantland > http://www.palmerwantland.com/PW_RWantland.html

Linked in http://www.linkedin.com/in/russellwantland

  • Citizens Participation Committee (CDBG)

    There are six members on this  committee.
    The HUD Citizens Participation Committee reviews all items to be funded with City of Edmond CDBG dollars.

    The CPC Committee makes recommendations to the City Council concerning our Community Development Block Grant programs for the next fiscal year.

    Link

What is a Planning Commission and What do Planning Commissioners do?

Oklahoma Planning Commissioners
Handbook The Origin Of The Planning Commission

The idea of the planning commission originated in the Standard Planning and Zoning Enabling Acts developed under Herbert Hoover in the 1920’s.

•These model ordinances were drafted in order to standardize land use planning procedures across the US.

• These acts defined and established the essential duties of planning commissions, boards of zoning appeals or adjustment, and legislative bodies as they address planning and development issues.
Oklahoma was one of the states that adopted the “Standard Enabling Act,” which is the basis for our zoning and planning legislation and practice. (Emphasis mine)

Read more

Follow the money

Nov. 18 2010

The City has been awarded nearly a million dollars in Recovery Act funds from the US Department of Energy and the Oklahoma Department of Commerce. Staff developed a strategy for allocating those funds, which included the development of the Edmond Sustainability Plan. The remainder of the funds is being spent on energy saving technologies for city facilities and water wells, CNG conversion kits, energy building code training and equipment for inspectors.  http://s3.amazonaws.com/content.newsok.com/documents/20101118-092402.docx

CDBG’s- Community Development Block Grants.

Background

The Constitution provided the federal government with a modest array of enumerated powers and left most government responsibilities to the states.

During most of the nation’s history, local units of government were not financially tied to the federal government. The New Deal of the 1930s started to change that with major federal encroachment into formerly state and local policy areas. The federal government’s micromanagement of local affairs accelerated in the 1960s with President Lyndon Johnson’s “Great Society” and the creation of the Department of Housing and Urban Development in 1965.

The idealistic plans of the 1960s for federal aid to solve local problems have not panned out. Federal meddling has been high in taxpayer cost and low on accomplishment. Indeed, federal subsidies and regulations have often contributed to the very urban decay that federal involvement was supposed to fix. The following six HUD programs should be high on the list of programs for federal policymakers to put on the chopping block.

While CDBG funds are initially handed out to state and local governments, the ultimate beneficiaries are usually private businesses and organizations working on particular projects, such shopping malls, parking lots, museums, colleges, theaters, swimming pools, and auditoriums.

All these activities are purely local in nature, and there is no national interest in funding them. CDBG funding runs completely counter to the federalist model of American government.

Federal policymakers are supposed to make decisions on national issues such as defense and security; it makes no sense for them to be city planners, but that’s what the CDBG program effectively lets them do.

Read more about CDBG’s

The City of Edmond- CDBG Community Development Block Grants

The City of Edmond is one step closer to addressing these needs, thanks to citizen participation and the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program. The CDBG program was authorized by the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974.

Each year, the US Department of Housing and Urban Development provides eligible metropolitan cities with CDBG funds to revitalize neighborhoods, develop affordable housing, expand economic opportunities and provide public services, principally to benefit low and moderate income persons or households.

All projects and programs must meet ONE of three national objectives:

  1. A benefit to low and moderate (L/M) income persons or households;
  2. Aiding in the prevention or elimination of slums or blight; or,
  3. Urgent Need (Meeting other community development needs having a particular urgency because existing conditions pose a serious and immediate threat to the health or welfare of the community, such as natural disasters).

Link

Oklahoma City, OK: The City of Oklahoma City is currently working on a sustainability plan using EECBG funds, lighting upgrades to City facilities, and Energy Management System Upgrades to City Facilities. In addition, the City is preparing to advertise for bids for our compressed natural gas fast fill fueling station and bike share program.

http://www.icleiusa.org/blog/sustainability-progress-across-the-southwest-and-south-central-u.s/?searchterm=oklahoma

Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grants Program-EECBG

Award(s): 56 totaling $36.5 million, Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grants Program (EECBG)

LINK

Location: Statewide

Fifty‐six communities in Oklahoma received a total of $36.5 million for the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grants Program (EECBG) to develop, promote, implement and manage local energy efficiency programs.

Oklahoma is using this funding to support various energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. The State is competitively awarding 60 percent of the funding to local cities and counties, prioritizing projects based on measures like energy and cost savings, job creation, renewable energy generation and carbon emissions reductions. EECBG funds also allow Oklahoma to upgrade the electrical distribution system in Waynoka, where the installation of new transformers will result in a 25 percent reduction in power consumption. The remaining funds are being used to install solar and wind technologies in jurisdictions across Oklahoma and enhance local recycling programs

__________________________________

Planning and Zoning

Review Criteria

In determining whether to approve, approve with conditions or deny a site plan application, the Planning Commission will consider the following factors:

Consistency with the applicable provisions Chapter 4, Chapter 5 and Chapter 6 of Title 22;
**

ORDINANCE NO. _ 3068______

AN ORDINANCE REPEALING THE EXISTING TITLE 22 ZONING ORDINANCE ORIGINALLY ADOPTED IN 1972 AND AMENDING TITLE 22 TO READ AS HEREIN SET OUT.

Purpose

This Ordinance classifies and regulates the use of land, buildings and structures within the city limits of the City of Edmond, Oklahoma. The regulations in this Ordinance are necessary to:

(A) Promote the health, safety and welfare of the inhabitants;

(B) Implement the policies found in the current version of the Edmond Plan;

(C) Encourage the most appropriate uses of land by dividing the City into zones and regulating therein the use of the land;

(D) Maintain and stabilize the value of property;

(E) Reduce fire hazards and improve public safety and safeguard the public health;

(F) Facilitate the flow of traffic and decrease hazards;

(G) Prevent undue concentration of population; and

(H) Create a comprehensive and stable pattern of land uses upon which to plan for transportation, water supply, sewage, schools, parks, public utilities and other facilities.

LINK

___

FEMA National Flood Insurance Program

“Since the Federal Government does not have land use authority, the NFIP is based on the Federal government’s power to spend under the Constitution rather than any Federal authority to regulate land use.” Link

“When a community chooses to join the NFIP, it must adopt and enforce minimum floodplain management standards for participation.

“‘Floodplain management’ refers to an overall community program of corrective and preventive measures for reducing future flood damage. These measures generally include zoning, subdivision, or building requirements, and special-purpose floodplain ordinances.” Link

Recommendations by the Federal Emergency Management Agency for local landowners to purchase flood insurance are nothing more than a scam, a levee district official told a crowd of concerned residents Saturday.

Some communities are very unhappy with how FEMA is re-drawing their flood maps.


**

ARRA Stimulus funds

American Recovery and Reinvestment Act Stimulus Applications

City of Edmond EECBG Application June 2009 EECBG-Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant

Other reports or articles that may be of interest:

Monthly Progress Report – August 2009

2009 Edmond Oklahoma EECBG Fund Proposal Presentation

Edmond Oklahoma Budget and Financial Plan FY 2010 – 2011

Edmond Public Works Authority Meeting June 2010

Oklahoma Health Equity Campaign

What Is Health Equity?
Health equity is a new idea for most people. It’s not hard to grasp, but it does require us to reframe the way in which health differences are usually presented and perceived.

Tackling health inequities requires widening our lens to bring into view the ways in which jobs, working conditions, education, housing, social inclusion, and even political power influence individual and community health. When societal resources are distributed unequally by class and by race, population health will be distributed unequally along those lines as well.

What is Health Equity?

Partner Contact List

CITY OF EDMOND

Shannon Entz

405-359-4789

shannon.entz@edmondok.com

___________________________

City Charter

The Edmond City Charter was first adopted by the voters in 1925 and approved by the Oklahoma Supreme Court in 1926. The Charter provides the basis for Edmond government as its organic law and structure as a home-rule city under the laws of the State of Oklahoma

There is a Charter Review Committee:

The Charter Review Committee is composed of citizens appointed by the City Council by action taken on April 9, 2007. The members of the Committee are shown on the attached exhibit 1.
The Committee includes broad experience in Edmond municipal affairs. The Committee membership includes one former mayor; five former city council members; two former Edmond City Attorneys; one former city manager, one University Professor expert in municipal affairs; and all have experience in affairs of the City of Edmond over a period of many years.

Here are some of the recommendations of the Charter Review Committee from 2008:

  • The Committee recommends that Section 9 of the Charter omit the requirement that a candidate be a freeholder in the city of Edmond.
  • office of Treasurer would in the future be appointed by the City Manager
  • the Charter that would allow the Edmond City Council to have the ability by ordinance to consider such additional campaign finance rules and regulations as it may desire in the future.


Read the 2008 Charter Review Committee’s recommendations for changes to the Charter

HOME RULE background


“It’s a shame that we have to ask the Legislature for permission to change our form of government.” Sen Leftwich 2006

County home rule amendment fails in Oklahoma on parliamentary move

Journal Record, The (Oklahoma City), Mar 7, 2006 by Marie Price

An attempted rehearing of a bill to which state Sen. Debbe Leftwich, D-Oklahoma City, added a county home rule proposal last week was quickly tabled Monday on a vote of 27-10.

Some 300 officials from mainly rural counties were at the state Capitol Monday to lobby senators against the home rule idea.

Leftwich’s amendment to Senate Bill 1763, by state Sen. Todd Lamb, R-Edmond, would allow Oklahoma and Tulsa counties to adopt a home-rule type of government. The language was attached to Lamb’s bill last week, but the bill itself was defeated, with Lamb serving notice to reconsider.

Former state Sen. Dave Herbert, now with the County Government Legislative Council, charged that the home-rule proposal was a move by local chamber officials to get their hands on county money.

You don’t know what it’s going to do once they pass it, he said What they’re saying is, give us permission to change government, but we’re not going to tell you how it’s going to be changed, and that’s just a bad idea.

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4182/is_20060307/ai_n16168841/

Kay County Officials Pleased With Defeat of Home Rule Bill

By MARK GALVIN

News Staff Writer

NEWKIRK — Kay County officers here say it’s just fine with them that the Oklahoma House has rejected two “county home rule” bills that would allow restructuring of county government.

Kay County Treasurer Pat Schieber, who was outspoken lately against the two House bills voted upon Monday, said officers had not just simply been opposed to the bill because they have a vested interest.

“We have a vested interest (but) our citizens have elected us, so we feel it’s our duty to watch over something that could ultimately be very bad. The way I interpret it, it would take the vote away from them on who their officials are at the courthouse.

“It’s the first step to the people losing their local control,” she said.

“The ultimate goal (of such bills),” Schieber said, “is to consolidate offices, then to consolidate courthouses, and eventually move everything to the control of the state.”

link

Home Rule in Midwest City Oklahoma causes some consternation….

Owner determined to fight ban in OK

Wed Jul 15, 2009

“Really, probably the key thing about this case is that it’s not about dogs,” said Katherine Bolles, city attorney for Midwest City. She said the city is most interested in having the courts define the powers of a home-rule charter city, which Midwest City is. (Emphasis mine)

A home-rule charter city is one which has adopted a charter that allows them to rule over local issues. As far as state concerns, state laws and statutes still trump home rule municipalities. Bolles said, however, that the safety of citizens against dogs is a municipal concern.

“If a home rule charter can’t regulate animals in a city, what can it regulate?” she asked. This is the question she wants to take to the court.

More

So MWC admits that this case was ultimately  about control, not safety.  Interesting

CHARTER OF THE CITY OF EDMOND, OKLAHOMA

As Last Amended
April 7, 2009

We, the people of the City of Edmond, Oklahoma, in order to form a more modern government, facilitate civic improvement and promote the general welfare, do ordain and establish this Charter for The City of Edmond, State of Oklahoma.
______________

Reports

Edmond Sustainability Key Documents

Green Infrastructure Initiative Report to Stakeholders
City of Edmond and Edmond Land Conservancy Facilitated Meetings Summary
March 27th – 28th, 2009
March 26th, 2010

Definition of Green Infrastructure
Green Infrastructure is defined as a “strategically planned and managed network of natural lands, working landscapes, and other open spaces that conserves ecosystem values and functions and provides associated benefits to human populations.” The network consists of Hubs, Links, and Sites.

The Green Infrastructure Initiative Vision
Create a plan and process that commits Edmond to preserving, protecting, and restoring its interconnected natural resources for the future development of the community.
The long term vision in creating a plan will accomplish the following:
1.It will create a GIS layer for the city that can be used by staff, planning commission, and the city council to make decisions and guide policy.
2.It will allow the ELC to better focus their efforts in acquiring conservation easements.
3.It will create changes in city code to provide approaches to construction that are environmentally sensitive, economically viable, and that comply with federal requirements.
4.It will make specific recommendations that lead to more sustainable practices and a more livable community for the long-term.

You can download the entire report here

According to the Edmond  report the ” Top Priorities for the Green Infrastructure Initiative” are:

  • Conserve forest lands in Edmond through a combination of regulations and incentives.
  • Educate landowners and promote use of conservation easements through educational materials and ongoing public awareness efforts.
  • Preserve floodplain and watershed lands through acquisition of conservation easements or, when necessary, whole properties.

Important information about Conservation Easements HERE

***

Edmond Plan IV (also Edmond Plan III)

The Edmond Plan IV is the City’s comprehensive plan, which acts as a general guide for how the City should grow and develop over the long-term.

Edmond Plan IV builds upon previous plans, incorporating elements that remain relevant and revising others that require updating to reflect current conditions.

What has Changed?

  • A General Plan has been added to depict the desired general vision for physical development and growth in Edmond. The General Plan is supported by the various goals and policies found throughout Edmond Plan IV, and considers constraints (such as protection of natural areas or anticipated availability of infrastructure), trends, desired growth patterns and preferred community character.
  • The site-specific land use map, previously known as Edmond Plan III, has been updated and the name has been changed to the “Ordinance Plan”. Updates to the Ordinance Plan reflect the vision and desired character of the “General Plan”, particularly in regards to east Edmond where the majority of change will occur.
  • A Preface has been added to provide a quick overview of the plan and how it is intended to be used by stakeholders.
  • A Community Profile section has been added (Chapter 2), which provides a current “snapshot” of Edmond examining demographic and development trends, key community features, and current development-related issues. The Community Profile provides the context for the long and short range goals and policies throughout the rest of the document.
  • The Transportation chapter (Chapter 5) has been revised to reflect the Edmond Transportation Plan.
  • The Utilities chapter (Chapter 7) provides an analysis of the City’s sewer and water infrastructure and its capacity to handle projected growth.
  • An Implementation chapter (Chapter 9) has been added to the plan to cover all remaining bases needed to move from plan to reality. Administrative goals and policies, as well as other tools to implement the plan are discussed.
  • Policies have been revised to provide stronger direction for decision-making.
  • The community vision, developed by citizens through the Tomorrow’s Edmond process in 1996, continues to provide the guiding vision for Edmond Plan IV.

Edmond Plan IV
Edmond Plan IV Ord. Map

http://edmondok.com/communitydev/planning/edmondplan

***

Edmond Greenprint Report 2003, 46 pages


See also Conservation Easements and Your Property Rights

From the Executive Summary:

To develop a long-term plan for enhancing outdoor recreational amenities and preserving natural resources, the City appointed a task force to explore these issues and develop a “greenprint” which will guide future growth and development.

The Green City Task Force, made up of 17 civic leaders, spent roughly one year exploring existing City plans, efforts, and needs, and developing a series of recommendations to the City for future efforts.

The ultimate goal of the Green City Task Force and this Greenprint is to ensure that the best natural areas which still exist are not lost

Read More

____________________

Financial


Look for The Triple Bottom Line

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The triple bottom line (abbreviated as “TBL” or “3BL“, and also known as “people, planet, profit” or “the three pillars” captures an expanded spectrum of values and criteria for measuring organizational (and societal) success: economic, ecological and social.

With the ratification of the United Nations and ICLEI TBL standard for urban and community accounting in early 2007, this became the dominant approach to public sector full cost accounting.  Read More

What’s Wrong With the “Triple Bottom Line”? A critique from the accounting perspective

The Comprehensive Annual Financial Report
What is it?

“Each year all State and local governments prepare a financial report on assets, liabilities, revenues and expenditures in more or less a standardized format that must conform to the Government Accounting Standards Board (GASB) accounting and financial reporting standards. This financial report is called the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR, pronounced “cay-fer”). Most people have heard of the budget, which is the document that plans and authorizes the spending of money. The CAFR describes what actually was spent and the status of assets and liabilities at the end of the fiscal year.”

Read More about CAFR’s

COMPREHENSIVE ANNUAL FINANCIAL REPORT for the City of Edmond Oklahoma  2009

Edmond Oklahoma Budget and Financial Plan FY 2010 – 2011

_____________________________________

Oklahoma State Energy Office
Operated by the Oklahoma Department of Commerce, the State Energy Office looks at energy efficiency as a tool for economic development to help sustain and grow Oklahoma communities.

NGO’s-Non Governmental Organizations

ELECTRONIC GLOBAL NETWORKING AND THE NGO MOVEMENT:

THE 1992 RIO SUMMIT AND BEYOND

by Shelley Preston

The United Nations Conference on Environment and Development was unprecedented in bringing together people from all walks of life, cultures, political systems, and environment-development experiences. Because the gathering cemented relationships and forged new alliances, international networking and mutual understanding of common problems or national predicaments are bound to flourish. As electronic communication becomes more available, a basis of international consolidation and reciprocal respect also will become more firmly established. Without that basis, there cannot be an effective transition from unsustainable to sustainable development.(1)

Link


__

Going Green – Sustainability
Edmond Area Chamber of Commerce

http://www.edmondchamber.com/programsgo-green/going-green-sustainablility/

The Oklahoma Sustainability Network

“Oklahoma Sustainability network is a non-profit organization dedicated to educating the public about implementing more earth-friendly policies. “

In 2010  The OSN received a $493,000 stimulus grant

Sustainability chapter started in Edmond

Journal Record, The (Oklahoma City), Jun 21, 2007 by David Page

Jeff Tate first learned about the Oklahoma Sustainability Network from Harlan Hentges.

Tate and Hentges are both attorneys with Mulinix Ogden Hall Andrews & Ludlam, a law firm with offices in downtown Oklahoma City. Hentges is general council for the Oklahoma Sustainability Network and is a member of the group’s board of directors.

“It was through my friendship with him (Hentges) that I gained exposure to the Oklahoma Sustainability Network,” Tate said. “I realized I had a lot more in common with the group than I realized.”

Tate, a resident of Edmond, attended the group’s annual conference in April. Hentges also lives in Edmond.

“I decided it was important to begin an Edmond chapter,” he said.

. . . “We will discuss how to improve our quality of life and our community in ways that make sense economically, environmentally and socially,” Tate said. “We also want to promote environmental stewardship through individual, community and business understanding of long-term consequences associated with climate change and other environmental issues.”

Sustainable Edmond is the state group’s seventh chapter. Other chapters are based in Oklahoma City, Norman, Tulsa, Stillwater and Shawnee. There is also a Green Country regional chapter. Other chapters are being formed. The nonprofit Oklahoma Sustainability Network actually got its start in Edmond. In 2001, a small group started meeting at the 501 Cafe in Edmond to discuss what could be done to “green” up Oklahoma, according to the state group’s Web site.

Those small meetings in Edmond resulted in the first Oklahoma Sustainability Network conference in May 2002 at Oklahoma State University-Oklahoma City. About 125 people attended the first conference, “Sustainable Solutions: Envisioning Oklahoma’s Future. LINK

OSN Programs and Projects

Consolidated Appropriations Act 2010 Sustainable Communities Initiative

Sustainable Edmond

ACOG “Association of Central Oklahoma Governments”

About ACOG
Established in 1966, the Association is an association of city, town and county governments within the Central Oklahoma area. ACOG works on mobility, public safety and quality of life issues that impact Central Oklahoma.
We are the designated Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) for Central Oklahoma. The MPO is a federally recognized entity that coordinates transportation planning and determines priorities for transportation funding.

INTERMODAL TRANSPORTATION TECHNICAL COMMITTEE VOTING MEMBERS AND ALTERNATES

http://www.acogok.org/Newsroom/Downloads10/may10ittc.pdf

Oklahoma Renewable Energy Council
OREC is a broad coalition of individuals, companies, organizations, and agencies working to develop Oklahoma’s bountiful renewable energy resources. These resources include wind, solar, biomass, Geothermal and small-scale hydroelectric.World-Wide Sustainability Resources Inventory

*****************************************************

I will be adding information that seems relevant to this posting.


For your further research-Here is a collection of some of the documents pertaining to Oklahoma and sustainability that I have gathered so far

________________________________________

Additional Resources and Reading:

Alabama Property Rights GLOSSARY OF TERMS YOU NEED TO KNOW

TAKING LIBERTY How Private Property is being ABOLISHED in America

What is Communitarian Law

Understanding Sustainable Development Agenda 21

Sustainable Development Global to Local Action Plans

A selection of papers about dealing with predetermined consensus, the Delphi Technique and  group manipulation tactics .

Sustainable Development or Sustainable Freedom

Smart Growth shows its ugly side in South Carolina

Hats Off to Jesse Ventura-Fusion Centers Exposed!

Oklahoma Information Fusion Center Power Point

Americans need to know about these new UN-American institutions.

Much appreciation to the Governor and his show for diving into the Fusion Centers!

Skeptical?  See the documents for yourself.

Operation DeFuse

These are the questions to ask about fusion centers

Oops! They said the “N” Word. ‘National’ ID

Document Link

National?  I beg to disagree since the NORTH AMERICAN Security Products Organization is the accreditation standards developer.  Unless we have assimilated Mexico and Canada into our nation, North American accreditation would be INTERNATIONAL.

From SecureID News;

June 16, 2010

ID standard verification meeting set

The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) has scheduled a meeting July 12 – 13 in Kansas City to discuss development of a national identity verification standard.

ANSI, along with its accredited standards-developer the North American Security Products Organization (NASPO), have been working on identity verification standards but this meeting is calling for participants to join in the process.

[. . .]The results of the meeting may lead to a national standard for identity verification, sets of rules and procedures for identity assurance and a standard that will enable relying partied to place a valuation of risk on to identities.

Read more

Who do they want to join them?

First and foremost, they call for interested parties who are willing to contribute financially.  They also claim to  seek input by these  interested parties but warn that their  rules of standard writing is done by “consensus process” and membership  is contingent upon the chairman and administrators “ability to manage”  the group.

I take this to mean that “if you are not likely to support the predetermined outcome, you will be nixed”

“Members should have a strong interest in the development of a national Identity Verification standard.  They must also be aware that there is international interest in this area”

The annual fee is 25,000 dollars for Sponsor’s

Members of NAPSO

NASPO Certified Companies

I think I can guess what “consensus” was reached but I will be watching to see what this meeting produced.


FBI Needs More Intelligence

. . .trained linguists

FBI lagging on translation efforts: report

Mon Oct 26, 2009 7:52pm EDT

// // // // <![CDATA[
var showComments = false;
var allowSLCall = false;

function singlePageView() {
document.location.href = ReplaceQueryStringParam(document.location.href, “sp”, “true”);
}

function replaceString(oldS, newS, fullS) {
// Replaces oldS with newS in the string fullS
for (var i = 0; i

//

// // // //

 

By Jeremy Pelofsky

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation has lost 3 percent of its linguists and failed to sift through millions of documents as the agency’s workload of terrorism cases grows, according to a report issued on Monday.

After the September 11, 2001 attacks, the FBI and U.S. intelligence agencies were widely and repeatedly criticized for failing to have enough linguists, especially for languages spoken in the Middle East, Pakistan and Afghanistan.

In addition to losing 40 of the 1,338 linguists the FBI had at its peak in March 2005, the agency now takes 19 months on average to hire a contract linguist, up from 16 months, the Justice Department’s inspector general found.

The FBI had 883 translators in 2001 and despite stepped-up efforts since then to recruit more they still face lengthy security clearance reviews which can take up to 14 months and another five months for proficiency testing.

The report also found that the FBI fell short in its hiring goals last year in all but two of the 14 languages for which it had hiring goals, but the review did not identify which ones because that information was classified.

“Failing to hire an adequate number of linguists in a timely manner adversely affects the FBI’s ability to manage the growing translation workload and reduce the current backlog of unreviewed material,” Justice Department inspector general Glenn Fine said in the report.

While the FBI reviewed all of the 4.8 million foreign language documents and intercepts it collected for terrorism and criminal cases from fiscal year 2006 to 2008, 31 percent of some 46 million electronic files were not examined, most of them collected in fiscal 2008, the report said.

http://www.reuters.com/article/domesticNews/idUSTRE59P4Q020091026

ACORN a not so tough a nut to crack .. .

Not for Red Dirt Reporter and Oklahoma Watchdog,  Andrew Griffin, that is.

Ax

Thoughts on ACORN story and more

By Andrew Griffin on Oct 1, 2009

OKLAHOMA CITY — It’s been a busy couple of days here at Oklahoma Watchdog headquarters. The story we broke yesterday, “Acorn tactics revealed in discovered documents,” show the New Orleans-based activist organization was bent on swinging state elections towards the Democrats.

The story was picked up by a number of political blog sites ranging from Yid with Lid to BigGovernment.com, run by Andrew Breitbart.

So, how active was ACORN? Well, beyond the usual actions like insisting on more streetlights on Oklahoma City’s east side, and protests against Cinemark Tinseltown movie theater, among others, the documents were pretty benign. But then there are the documents that reveal they are looking to get “down and dirty,” something we will be addressing further in the coming days.

Read More;

http://oklahoma.watchdog.org/2009/10/01/thoughts-on-acorn-story-and-more/

ACORN tactics revealed in discovered documents

By Andrew Griffin on September 30, 2009

OKLAHOMA CITY – Rep. Mike Reynolds, R-Oklahoma City, said Wednesday he combed through documents from an abandoned local ACORN office because of reports of impropriety at other organization chapters. Oklahoma City-based news and investigative website Red Dirt Report discovered documents in an abandoned local office of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now in south Oklahoma City’s “Little Mexico” neighborhood.

Investigators found computers, hard drives, documents, registration forms, I-9 employment information and boxes with return addresses to ACORN’s New Orleans home office, as well as a regional IRS office last October.

Oklahoma Watchdog now has many of the documents and will reveal them here.

Reynolds said, “The contents of the ACORN offices were offered to me late, last summer,” but he didn’t examine them in detail. “My other duties didn’t allow me to examine the tens of thousands of pages available until recently,” he said, adding that when he read national stories about video of ACORN appearing to advise illegal behavior, “I decided I’d more carefully examine it.”

The information has been made available to the appropriate federal authorities, this website has since learned.

Oklahoma Watchdog attempted to call ACORN offices in both Tulsa and New Orleans.

ACORN, which receives millions in federal dollars for voter registration, cannot legally support one party. However, internal documents show ACORN “targeted” state legislative districts in 2007 and 2008, leading up to the presidential election.

A “Power Plan” document begins: “Oklahoma ACORN has been virtually non-existent since its glory days in Tulsa, over 20 years ago. 2007 is Year Zero.”

It continues with a five-year plan to obtain “power”:

“Therefore, the route to power is twofold: First, build powerful city organizations in Oklahoma City and Tulsa that can control these municipalities. Second, become an influential organization by shaping a handful of strategic legislative districts that, by themselves, can change who controls the state legislature.”

“(W)e will be seen as the force that is making Oklahoma a progressive state in the way that it was 100 years ago.”

“By using this power to win significant changes for working people, by the end of our 5 years, we will have legitimized the progressive takeover of the statehouse and head into 2012 with a real possibility of changing what Oklahomans look for and expect out of their Congressional delegation.”

READ MORE;

http://oklahoma.watchdog.org/2009/09/30/acorn-tactics-revealed-in-discovered-documents/

FLASHBACK: 2008 report on ACORN activities in Oklahoma City

By Andrew Griffin on October 1, 2009 Below is the first story this reporter wrote regarding ACORN and their presence in Oklahoma City. Posted at RedDirtReport.com, it gave a first-hand account of the abandoned ACORN office in south Oklahoma City and some of the items discovered. This was published nearly one year ago

By Andrew W. Griffin

Red Dirt Report, editor

Posted: October 14, 2008

OKLAHOMA CITY – On the second floor of an old building in South Oklahoma City “Little Mexico” neighborhood, there is a room that until recently, housed a branch of ACORN (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now), a low-income advocacy organization known for left-wing activism, rabble-rousing and – shockingly – voter registration fraud.

Left hurriedly and in a shambles, the small office, coated in a layer of plaster dust, still housed computers, documents, registration forms, I-9 employment info and boxes with an IRS return address and others with a return address for an ACORN office in New Orleans.

The person working at this office, Adam Carter, had reportedly skipped town in June, according to the landlord. and in August, an ACORN representative from Tulsa came down and took more items, leaving behind what was found by Red Dirt Report. ACORN never fulfilled it’s year lease for the property and never paid a dime in rent. The landlord told Red Dirt Report that the ACORN workers seemed to attract trouble and that there was something not quite right about what they were doing. The landlord also said that the aforementioned Tulsa ACORN worker, named “Brittany,” said ACORN didn’t have any money to pay for the rent and that Carter had depleted the South Oklahoma City ACORN account

Read More;

http://oklahoma.watchdog.org/2009/10/01/flashback-2008-report-on-acorn-activities-in-oklahoma-city/

A call to the main Oklahoma City ACORN office at 2525 Northwest Expressway revealed that the number had been disconnected. A call to the ACORN office in Tulsa, at 531 E. 36th Street North went unanswered.