West Hollywood ordinance requires gender-neutral restrooms

Written by The Associated Press Wednesday, 14 January 2015 11:47

West Hollywood, California, this week begins requiring gender-neutral restrooms under a new ordinance.

The ordinance that takes effect on Jan. 15 requires that restrooms with only one stall in restaurants, businesses and public places cannot restrict it to a specific sex either by signage or fixtures.

Smoking in Wisconsin annually costs $3 billion in health care, $1.62 billion in lost productivity

Written by The Wisconsin Gazette Wednesday, 14 January 2015 10:46

Smoking in Wisconsin annually costs $3 billion in health care expenses and $1.62 billion in lost productivity, according to the 2015 “Burden of Tobacco in Wisconsin” study by UWM’s Center for Urban Initiatives and Research.

The total cost of $4.62 billion marks an increase of $100 million dollars from the last “Burden” report released in 2010. 

U.S Rep. Paul Ryan won't run for president in 2016

Written by Wisconsin Gazette Tuesday, 13 January 2015 10:30

U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, a Republican from Wisconsin and the 2012 vice presidential candidate for the GOP, will not run for president in 2016.

On his Facebook page, Ryan said, "After giving it a lot of thought, I've decided not to run for president. Our work at the House Ways and Means Committee over the next few years will be crucial to moving America forward, and my job as Chairman deserves undivided attention. It's clear our country needs a change in direction. And our party has a responsibility to offer a real alternative. So I'm going to do what I can to lay out conservative solutions and to help our nominee lead us to victory."

NOW delivers specimen cups to Wisconsin lawmakers, protests Walker's drug-testing plan

Written by The Wisconsin Gazette Tuesday, 13 January 2015 06:15

Members of the Wisconsin chapter of the National Organization for Women announced plans on Jan. 12 to give state lawmakers specimen sample cups to protest Gov. Scott Walker's proposal to drug test recipients of public assistance.

Wisconsin NOW, in a news statement, repeated its opposition to the measure, which has already been implemented in some states, including Florida.

EPA to regulate methane pollution by oil, gas industry

Written by The Wisconsin Gazette Wednesday, 14 January 2015 11:09

The White House on Jan. 14 announced a new goal of cutting methane pollution from the oil and gas industry 40-45 percent by 2025, along with plans to reduce emissions from some sectors of the industry.

The administration also announced the Environmental Protection Agency will set Clean Air Act standards to reduce methane pollution from new oil and gas production, processing and transmission equipment nationwide and there are plans to cut emissions from some existing oil and gas operations.

Groups compare cost of social programs to Big Oil giveaways

Written by The Wisconsin Gazette Tuesday, 13 January 2015 14:36

The newly released Fossil Fuel Subsidies Tradeoff Calculator at compares the cost of government giveaways for Big Oil to the cost of social programs, including food stamps, higher education grants, health care for veterans and other government services.

Groups fighting for racial and economic justice are joining communities of faith and environmentalists to remind federal lawmakers that welfare for polluters is an unacceptable use of public money. As federal programs that feed the hungry and heal the sick struggle for funding, oil and gas companies continue to drain billions of U.S. tax dollars in the form of subsidies and other special interest giveaways.

Civil rights groups guide Congress on education bill

Written by The Wisconsin Gazette Tuesday, 13 January 2015 08:02

Nearly 20 civil rights groups and education advocates released shared civil rights principles for the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.

In the principles, the groups highlight the important and historic role the federal government has played during the 50 years since the ESEA was originally passed in promoting educational opportunity and protecting the rights and interests of students disadvantaged by discrimination, poverty, and other conditions that may limit their educational attainment.

2 Albuquerque officers charged with murder in March shooting

Written by The Associated Press Tuesday, 13 January 2015 06:05

Deadly police encounters in New York and Missouri resulted in no charges against the officers recently amid closed-door grand jury proceedings that infuriated some members of the public. Faced with a similar decision for a high-profile police shooting in New Mexico, the top prosecutor in Albuquerque took an entirely different approach.

The Albuquerque district attorney brought murder charges this week against two officers who shot a mentally ill homeless man during a standoff last year, bypassing a grand jury and taking the case before a judge who will decide at a public hearing whether the case should move forward.

Brrr: Feeling cold can be contagious

Written by The Wisconsin Gazette Wednesday, 14 January 2015 10:56

Just looking at somebody shivering is enough to make a person feel cold, according to newly published research from the University of Sussex.

Volunteers who watched videos of people putting their hands in cold water found their own body temperature drop significantly.

Sanders filing climate change amendment to Keystone XL bill

Written by The Wisconsin Gazette Tuesday, 13 January 2015 14:25

U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders on Jan. 13 planned to file an amendment that would put the Senate on record acknowledging that climate change is being caused by humans and is a major threat to the planet. 

Sanders, an independent from Vermont who has said he will announce this spring whether he'll run for president in 2016, said he plans to offer the amendment to a Senate bill that would force approval of the Keystone XL pipeline. The controversial project would ship oil from Canada’s tar sands region in Alberta to refineries in Texas along the Gulf of Mexico. 

Study: iPhone separation causes anxiety, poor performance

Written by WiG Tuesday, 13 January 2015 06:50

Apple's iPhone and separation anxiety. — PHOTO: Apple

Research from the University of Missouri shows that cellphone separation can have serious psychological and physiological effects on iPhone users, including poor performance on cognitive tests.

Appeals court won’t reconsider Idaho gay marriage case

Written by The Associated Press
and WiG reports
Tuesday, 13 January 2015 05:41

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has denied Gov. C. L. “Butch” Otter’s request for a review of the court’s ruling last year that overturned Idaho’s ban on gay marriage.

Otter had requested that an 11-judge panel review the October decision by three judges that Idaho’s same-sex marriage ban was unconstitutional.