Tag Archives: government

FBI plans large hiring blitz of agents, experts

I guess this is part of the economic stimulus package in the U.S. – to ramp up law enforcement:

By James Vicini


FBI investigators examine a crime scene at a California parking lot in a 2006
Reuters – FBI investigators examine a crime scene at a California parking lot in a 2006 photo. (Phil Klein/Reuters)

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Wanted by the FBI: agents, language specialists, computer experts, intelligence analysts and finance experts.

The FBI said on Monday it had launched one of the largest hiring blitzes in its 100-year history involving 2,100 professional staff vacancies and 850 special agents aimed at filling its most critical vacancies.

The agency, which seeks to protect the United States from terrorist attack, fight crime and catch spies, among other duties, said it currently has more than 12,800 agents and about 18,400 other employees.

Since the Sept 11, 2001, attacks, the FBI has been criticized for not having enough employees fluent in foreign languages and for not moving fast enough to upgrade its computer system.

FBI Assistant Director John Raucci of the Human Resources division said the federal law enforcement agency is seeking to bring more people on board with skills in critical areas, especially language fluency and computer science.

"We’re also looking for professionals in a wide variety of fields who have a deep desire to help protect our nation from terrorists, spies, and others who wish us harm," Raucci said.

He said the FBI, which has been investigating corporate wrongdoing in connection with the current financial crisis, also needs finance and accounting experts, along with those skilled in physical surveillance and various other employees.

The hiring initiative for FBI headquarters in Washington, D.C., and for its field offices would replace departed staff and add some employees, officials said. (Reporting by James Vicini, Editing by Jackie Frank)

Justifying Teacher Raises: Make them work more!

Education sure is in the news a lot lately.  It’s a subject near to my heart since I have spent my entire 24 year (so far!) career in the field.

This week, Utah Governor Huntsman endorsed a full year for teachers in a move to justify giving teachers raises.  Of course we all know that teachers already do not work enough, so this makes perfect sense (said sarcastically).

“I’m not going to rest until we … get to the point we’re paying teachers what they deserve, which is basically what they’re getting in surrounding states,” Huntsman told the Public Education and Higher Education appropriations committees, the Utah Board of Regents and the State Board of Education in a joint meeting at Granite District headquarters Wednesday.
The trimester idea would give teachers contracts longer than the traditional 180 to 190 days a year and therefore, higher pay because they’re working more.

Let me get this straight.  In order to pay teachers what they deserve (as stated in the above), we should increase the amount of contract time for teachers to bring their salaries in line with other states?  Huh?

Utah teacher salaries lag behind other occupations requiring similar experience by about 10 to 15 percent, and 30 percent for positions requiring a background in math or science, according to a Department of Workforce Services study prepared for the task force.
      Part of the problem, Kendell said, is a nine-month work contract.
      “They work very hard…(but) it’s still part-time work,” he said, adding the average American worker puts in 240 to 260 days a year, not 180 or 190. “No business I know of can afford to shut down for three months every year, but we do it.”

Oh, I see now – it’s the old “We private business owners and workers physically work more hours than teachers do so they should have to work just as much as we do.”  They still don’t get it.  While teachers may physically be in class 8 hours a day for 10 months (yes, teachers get a 10 month contract, not 9 as stated in the article), they spend probably an average (in my estimate based on my veteran experience) of 40 hours per week above that attending meetings, trainings, and mostly working on lesson plans and grading and tutoring students after school hours.  Additionally, teachers often spend most of their summer attending more meetngs and trainings and planning for the next school year.  Most teachers I know (including myself) spend the time assessing the past year and revising curriculum for teaching in the fall. 

I challenge any business person to spend a year as a teacher, including all of the components associated with it – paperwork, meetings, parent phone calls and meetings, tutoring, additional schooling and all.  C’mon, I dare you.

I do not see how increasing the school year is going to lessen the work load – it will only increase the work load.  So any pay raise associated with a calendar day increase will not solve the issue of “giving teachers what they deserve”.

This is a figurative slap in the face to educational professionals in this state.

Immigration Reform Rally

I stopped by the Immigration Reform Rally yesterday at the City County Building in downtown Salt Lake.  Here are photos and links to news articles.

School Vouchers Blogswarm-NO to H.B. 148

School Voucher Blogswarm

On January 30th I posted my piece, School Vouchers-A Bad Idea. Today I offer this related post as part of a blog swarm on the topic which is being decided on in the Utah Legislature this year.
Continue reading

Rocky Anderson’s Goals

This will be Rocky Anderson’s last year as Mayor of Salt Lake City. In this year, he has a team that is working on 108 goals he has set for the remainder of his tenure. I don’t agree with some of them, for example mandating helmets for bicyclists and motorcyclists (I am opposed to the government making mandates for my own personal self). However, I like a lot of his goals. Here are some that I like (not all inclusive):

  • Require yearly courtesy training for all police officers.
  • Ban idling (except in traffic) for government vehicles and, possibly, all cars in the city.
  • Liquor law reform to eliminate private-club memberships
  • Develop Master Plan for segregated bike lanes
  • Close off traffic on certain streets to allow bicycling across town – Public campaign and celebrations
  • Lobby for state incentives for consumers to utilize alternative energy
  • Educate employers about tax incentives for employees to ride public transportation
  • Develop plan to convert all City vehicles to alternative fuels or high-efficiency vehicles
  • All fluorescents or LED in all City buildings. No incandescent bulbs, including holiday lighting

    See the entire list.

  • Still a Lot of Work to do

    Today’s Deseret News has published an opinion poll showing the Utah’s ratings of Bush and Cheney are far higher than the national poll figures.

    Boy, do we still have a lot of work to do.

    Photo (Deseret Morning News graphic)
    Deseret Morning News graphic

    Pelosi Takes Over – A “New Direction” for America?

    If a “new direction” is  the case, why won’t she push for Impeachment of the Bush Regime?  Pelosi touts a “new direction” for women as well, yet the Bush regime is flagrantly anti-women’s rights.  I won’t see a “new direction” until she, and the rest of the dems, get Bush out.

    (Photo: Lawrence Jackson / AP)

    Agents decide who are illegal immigrants (raid in Utah) by skin color

    In Utah, DHS Raids Raise Concerns
    By Justin Rood – December 13, 2006, 1:16 PM

    A troubling report from the DHS immigration raids yesterday, from the Salt Lake (Utah) Tribune. In this case, DHS agents allegedly separated workers by their skin color — light-skinned were considered citizens, dark-skinned got scrutiny. Predicatably, they swept up at least one dark-skinned U.S. citizen up with immigrant workers:

    If only for a few minutes, Maria felt like an ”illegal alien” in her homeland – the United States of America. Continue reading

    It’s the Rich Entrepeneurs, Stupid

    All across the U.S., including here in Utah, thousands of arrests of immigrants have been made this week in a Homeland Security Secretary “Operation Wagon Train”.

    While poor working people have been carted off, leaving their small children and other family members frightened and alone, the rich owners of the companies that employed the immigrants, who are claimed to be undocumented, sit comfortably in their homes without facing any penalties for not following proper procedure in hiring workers.

    To top this off, the owner had been told of the upcoming raid, but was told not to inform the workers.

    Further, families are not being allowed contact with their arrested loved one. Workers in the raids were placed on “administrative arrest”. A day after his wife was arrested in the Hyrum raid at Swift & Co., Tony Ivarra hadn’t heard about her. The couple has a 9-year-old daughter. “I don’t know how she is, I don’t know anything,” he said in Spanish at a community informational meeting, which was conducted mostly in Spanish, for families affected by Tuesday’s raid. Leo Bravo, director of the Multicultural Center of Cache Valley, said that the arrests had left many broken families and his Logan center will be open 24 hours a day to help those in need. Families and friends took in children who were left stranded when their parents were arrested.

    It’s likely that many of those arrested will face deportation.

    Now there’s some passionate conservatism for you – good ‘ol family values. Protect the rich business owner and hisfamily while his workers and their families incur inhumane charges and detainment.

    Rain Water Tax?

    There has been a lot of discussion on a proposed “rain water tax” in West Jordan. The City Council will receive public input and consider for approval Ordinance 06-41,
    amending the West Jordan Municipal Code, Title 90, Chapter 3, establishing a
    Stormwater Utility [Tom Steele] PH 6d

    “A Public Hearing will be held before the City of West Jordan City Council on Tuesday, November 14, 2006, at the hour of 6:00 p.m., in the City Council Chambers at 8000 South Redwood Road, Third Floor, West Jordan, Utah, for review and/or recommendation of the proposed
    amendment to the West Jordan Municipal Code, Title 90, Chapter 3, establishing a Stormwater Utility. You are invited to attend the Public Hearing and take part in the discussions and voice any support or concerns you may have. If you desire to speak on an item, the time will be limited to 3 minutes. Items may be moved on the agenda or tabled by the City Council. Copies of the agenda packet for this meeting will be available at the West Jordan libraries and on the City’s website http://www.wjordan.com approximately 4 days prior to the meeting.”

    What is missing from this announcement: A Stormwater Utility Fee of $36 a year will be imposed on all residents and thousnds of dollars to businesses. And also missing is the state law on public notifictaion relaative to fee/tax incresses should change, mandating any increase in fee from cities be publicized in detail.

    A participant on the West Jordan discussion list writes in his analysis of this fee proposal:
    What is the Rain Tax or Gutter Tax?

    Fee/tax on Mother Nature generated rain that runs off your property to city storm drain pipes that you already paid for by the impact fee on your home when it was first built.
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