Friday, August 31, 2007

Palatul Parlamentului Description
Built on the site of a hill variously known as Spirii Hill, Uranus Hill, or Arsenal Hill, which was largely razed for the project, the building anchors the west end of Unirii Boulevard and Centrul Civic. Construction began in 1984. The building was originally known mainly as the House of the People (Casa Poporului), and sometimes as House of the Republic (Casa Republicii), and was intended to serve as headquarters for all the major state institutions. However, the project was just nearing completion at the time of Nicolae Ceauşescu's 1989 overthrow and execution. During the 1989 regime change, its leaders refered to the building as the House of Ceauşescu, using it as an example of the excessive luxury in which Ceauşescu would have been living.

Since 1994, the building has housed Romania's Chamber of Deputies that had previously been housed in the Palace of the Patriarchy; the Romanian Senate joined them there in 2004, having previously been housed in the former Communist Party Central Committee building. The Palace also contains a massive array of miscellaneous conference halls, salons, etc., used for a wide variety of other purposes.
In 2002, Costa Gavras shot scenes of Amen. in the Palace to represent the Vatican palaces.
In 2003-2004 a glass annex was built, alongside external elevators. This was done to facilitate access to the National Museum of Contemporary Art (MNAC) opened in 2004 inside the west wing of the Palace of the Parliament, and to the Museum and Park of Totalitarianism and Socialist Realism, also opened in 2004.
The cafeteria for use of the legislators has been refurbished recently, alongside the addition of a swimming pool, sauna and sports facilities at basement 1.
Also in the building is the headquarters of the Southeast European Cooperative Initiative (SECI), an organization focused on regional cooperation among governments against cross-border crime.
Parts of the building (some of the west wing, some of the east wing, parts of the second floor, basement 3 and everything below) are yet to be completed. Currently, a new underground parking lot is being built inside a former stadium, currently used as a warehouse, which was covered during the construction of the palace. Tunnels linking 13 Septembrie Avenue with the basement of the building will be built.
There are public tours organized in a number of languages.

Palatul Parlamentului Throughout

Thursday, August 30, 2007

John McLaughlin (host)
John McLaughlin (born March 29, 1927) is the creator, executive producer, and host of The McLaughlin Group, a weekly public affairs television program broadcast in the United States since 1982, and of McLaughlin's One on One, an interview program. In the group program, the current format involves a group of four respected commentators discussing current political issues at the host's direction and tends to become a little heated, although remaining good-humored. The McLaughlin Group is also seen in the UK and other parts of Europe on CNBC Europe.
McLaughlin earned two master's degrees (philosophy and English literature) from Boston College, and a Ph.D. (philosophy) from Columbia University. Upon entering the Jesuit order of the Roman Catholic Church and being ordained a priest, McLaughlin spent years as a high school teacher at Fairfield College Preparatory School, a Jesuit prep school in Connecticut. A Republican, he originally opposed the Vietnam War and, in 1970, sought permission from his order to run for a seat in the United States Senate, representing Rhode Island. His superiors denied him this, even though they did grant permission to fellow Jesuit Father Robert Drinan to run for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives for Massachusetts. McLaughlin defied his superiors and ran anyway, losing to the incumbent four-term Senator John O. Pastore.
Through a friendship with Pat Buchanan, McLaughlin became a war supporter and a speech writer/advisor to President Richard Nixon. Because priests are not allowed to take on political jobs, he was ordered by his Jesuit superiors to return to Boston and, rather than obey, he left the Society of Jesus.
McLaughlin later married Ann Dore, his former campaign manager. She served as Secretary of Labor under Ronald Reagan from 1987 until 1989. The couple divorced in 1992, and both have since married other partners. McLaughlin's current wife is Cristina Vidal McLaughlin.
Leading up to the 2004 United States presidential election he announced that he would be voting for Democratic candidate John Kerry. His political views, however, are diversified and usually specific to the issues at hand.
McLaughlin is fond of making witty predictions based on current events, and of asking questions in interesting ways. One phrase he often uses is: "On a scale of 0 to 10--with 0 representing zero possibility and 10 representing metaphysical certitude--what is the chance of...?" His loud and forceful style of presentation has been parodied by many comedians and other commentators, most notably Dana Carvey of Saturday Night Live. McLaughlin himself appeared as the Grim Reaper in an SNL sketch that parodied his show.
The McLaughlin Group is available in low-resolution video podcast form on the show's web site and on iTunes. Interestingly, although the show is shown on PBS with no commercials, the podcast edition has commercial messages inserted. Despite this apparent revenue stream, the delay between the airing of the show on television and the release of the podcast edition is about five days. This is unusually long, especially for a news-oriented show. Most shows of this type are available for download within a few hours of their television airing, or the next day, and without commercials.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Derek Smith (ice hockey)
Derek Smith (b. July 31, 1954 in Quebec City, Quebec) is a former Buffalo Sabres great that was drafted by the Sabres in 1974. He amassed 78 NHL goals in a nine-year career that also saw the forward play with the Detroit Red Wings.
Smith played his junior hockey for the Ottawa 67's and scored an impressive 52 goals in the 1972-1973 campaign. He backed up the performance with a 47-goal season the next year and this was enough to garner the attention of the Buffalo Sabres who drafted him in the 10th round of the 1974 NHL draft.
He spent three seasons with the Hershey Bears of the AHL including a heroic playoff effort in 1975 where he scored seven goals in just eleven games. Smith also scored nearly a point a game for the Bears in 1976-1977. This is also the year when he got his first taste of NHL regular season action, playing in 5 games for the Sabres.
In 1977, he became an NHL regular appearing in 36 regular season games and an additional eight playoff games. Smith broke out in the 1979-1980 season when he recorded career high 24 goals to go with 39 assists. He once again proved to be a playoff hero when he notched 12 points in just 13 games. He was a 20-goal scorer yet again the next season. Smith also set a career high with 43 helpers in only 69 games.
On December 2, 1981 Smith was the marquee piece of a famous trade that sent him to the Detroit Red Wings, along with Danny Gare and Jim Schoenfeld, in exchange for Dale McCourt, Mike Foligno and Brent Peterson. The trade shocked the Buffalo community because it was three of the more popular players in team history traded despite the team playing well at the time. Smith added thirteen goals to his career total while playing for Detroit. He retired from professional hockey in 1984 after scoring 78 goals and amassing 194 points in the National Hockey League.
Smith still resides in the Western New York area and is an active member of the Buffalo Sabres Alumni Association.

Monday, August 27, 2007

The West Campus contains buildings that support administration, research, design and construction of spacecraft, operation of spacecraft, information storage and archival, and data analysis. The buildings generally are two to three stories high, often brick, and simply detailed. Amenities include two cafeterias, a base exchange operated by the Goddard Employees Welfare Association (GEWA), a library, a health services unit, a post office, and recreation areas. West Campus facilities include:

The Diffraction Grating Evaluation Facility (DGEF) was developed at Goddard to evaluate optical components such as diffraction gratings, mirrors, and filters as well as detection systems used in space instrumentation.
The Flight Dynamics Facility (FDF) provides engineering services to missions including orbit determination, attitude determination, maneuver planning, spacecraft navigation systems, and attitude sensor performance analysis. Currently, FDF provides orbit and attitude determination for more than 15 NASA spacecraft, and also supports Space Shuttle operations and expendable launch vehicles.
The High Capacity Centrifuge located in Building 15 is a 30 g rotary accelerator capable of rotating 5,000 pound payloads at up to 30 RPM and is housed in its own circular building. Tilt fixtures allow the orientation of test articles in a wide range of attitudes and angles.
The NASA Communications Network (NASCOM) is a global system that provides communications support to all NASA projects. Voice, data, and teletype links are available through the network for connecting the Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System (TDRSS) with user spacecraft control centers. Land lines, submarine cables, and microwave/satellite links make up this communications system.
The Network Control Center (NCC) manages the total Space Network. The NCC schedules and configures the TDRSS and monitors the status of ongoing scheduled services. Operators schedule emergency services, isolate any problems in the system, and restore faulty user services. The Control Center communicates with other stations through the NASCOM network.
The Building 3/13/14 Payload Operations Control Centers (POCC) are facilities that provide support to one or more spacecraft missions. Some are operated from GSFC, for example SOHO, and some are operated from offsite, for example Swift. Equipment located in control centers handles all data, generates commands, and interfaces with other stations. The control centers also process experiment commands and telemetry, and control payload and instrument operations. The Hubble Space Telescope Control Center (STOCC) in Building 3 is the facility where Hubble Space Telescope (HST) managers and engineers monitor and control the orbiting observatory. Past missions operated at GSFC include the Compton Gamma Ray Observatory, COBE, and IUE.
The Space Environment Simulator is a three-story high thermal-vacuum chamber (nicknamed "The SES") located in Building 10 that features an 8.2 meter diameter by 12.2 meter high vacuum chamber capable of simulating temperature and vacuum conditions for virtually any launch or orbital environment condition. Shroud temperatures within the chamber can be controlled to -180 °C to +100 °C.
The National Space Science Data Center (NSSDC) at GSFC provides online and offline access to a wide variety of astrophysics, space plasma and solar physics, lunar and planetary, and Earth science data from NASA space flight missions. NSSDC also provides access to online information for the spacecraft and experiments that have or will provide public access data.
The Spacecraft Fabrication Facility where Goddard technicians and engineers manufacture components used for spacecraft assembly. This includes the tools which the astronauts use in space as well as the spacecraft themselves.
The Building 29 Spacecraft Systems Development and Integration Facility is a 7990 m² facility that contains one of the largest cleanrooms in the world. The High Bay Cleanroom is a 1,161m2 (12,500 ft2), class 1,000 M4.5), horizontal flow cleanroom measuring 30.5 x 38 x 27 meters (100'x125'x89'). Its five 250 horsepower fans are capable of moving 25,388 m3/min (900,000 ft2/min). It has been designed to support the integration and testing of flight hardware and has the capacity to accommodate two full-sized shuttle payloads simultaneously and played a major role in preparations for the Hubble Space Telescope Servicing Missions.
The Building 7/10 Spacecraft Test and Integration Facility contains cleanrooms for spacecraft integration and special chambers for environmental test of spacecraft. Nine thermal-vacuum chambers, four large vibration platforms("shakers"), and an acoustic test chamber capable of 150 decibels are located in this facility. There is also a full-scale model of the Hubble Space Telescope.
Building 11/30 contains the Detector Development Laboratory (DDL), a world class semiconductor processing facility. Some of the worlds most unique microelectronic devices have been fabricated at the Goddard facilities and many have flown on space missions over the past 35 years. West Campus
The northern area of the East Campus contains several buildings that support maintenance, utilities, or tracking and communication operations. Antennas and other communication equipment that support the operations are located in this area. The southern area of the East Campus contains facilities for NASA's Mission to Planet Earth. The rest of the East Campus is still in a relatively undeveloped state. Amenities include a small convenience store, a recreation center, and hiking trails. East Campus facilities include:

The Central Chilled Water and Generator Plant in Building 31 provides utilities to the East Campus.
The Earth Observing System Data Information System (EOSDIS) in Building 32. The EOSDIS in contains the operations centers where the Earth Observing System (EOS) and Landsat program spacecraft and instruments are monitored and controlled. EOS data are processed, archived and distributed from this location.
The Earth Systems Science Building (ESSB) in Building 33. The ESSB contains offices and facilities for the analysis of earth observation data. East Campus
NASA owns 1121 acres of land at Greenbelt. The remaining 149 acres are the outlying adjacent sites and are leased from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Amenities include softball fields for Goddard intramural teams and an asphalt runway for radio controlled aircraft. The outlying sites include:

The Antenna Performance Measuring Range
The Magnetics Test Facility, located in a magnetic-quiet area, uses large coil magnets operated from a single control building to calibrate and align both instrumentation and spacecraft attitude control systems, and determine of the dipole moment of spacecraft. This facility is the only facility in NASA's inventory that makes it possible to determine and to minimize the magnetic movement of even the largest unmanned spacecraft and observatories.
The Optical Tracking and Ground Plane Facilities
The Propulsion Research Site Goddard Space Flight Center Outlying sites
GSFC operates three facilities that are not located at the Greenbelt site. These facilities are:

The Wallops Flight Facility located in Wallops Island, Virginia was established in 1945, and is one of the oldest launch sites in the world. Wallops manages NASA's sounding rocket program, and supports approximately 35 missions each year.
The Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) located at Columbia University in New York City, where much of the center's theoretical research is conducted. Operated in close association with Columbia and other area universities, the institute provides support research in geophysics, astrophysics, astronomy and meteorology.
The Independent Verification and Validation Facility (IV&V) in Fairmont, West Virginia was established in 1993 to improve the safety, reliability, and quality of software used in NASA missions. Trivia

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Union territories

A Union Territory is a sub-national administrative division of India. Unlike the states, which have their own elected governments, union territories are ruled directly by the federal national government; the President of India appoints an Administrator or Lieutenant-Governor for each territory.
See also: States and territories of India

Andaman and Nicobar Islands
Dadra and Nagar Haveli
Daman and Diu
National Capital Territory of Delhi

Saturday, August 25, 2007

House of Representatives of Japan
This article is part of the series: Politics and government of Japan
The House of Representatives (衆議院 Shūgiin) is the lower house of the Diet of Japan. The House of Councillors of Japan is the upper house.
The House of Representatives has 480 members, elected for four-year terms. Of these, 180 are elected from 11 multi-member constituencies by proportional representation, and 300 are elected from single-member constituencies. The House of Representatives is the more powerful of the two houses, able to override vetoes on bills imposed by the House of Councillors with a two-thirds majority. It can be dissolved by the Prime Minister at will, as it was by Junichiro Koizumi on August 8, 2005, due to a division within his Liberal Democratic Party.

Politics of Japan
Emperor (list)

  • Akihito
    Imperial Household Agency
    Prime Minister (list)

    • Shinzo Abe
      National Diet

      • House of Councillors
        House of Representatives
        Judicial system

        • 1990 - 1993 - 1996 - 2000 - 2003 - 2004 - 2005 - 2007
          Political parties

          • LDP - DPJ - NKP - JCP - SDP
            Political extremism
            Fiscal policy
            Foreign policy / Foreign relations
            Human rights Right to vote and candidature
            The House of Representatives has several powers not given to the House of Councillors. If a bill is passed by the lower house (the House of Representatives) but is voted down by the upper house (the House of Councillors) the House of Representatives can override the decision of the other chamber by a two-thirds vote in the affirmative. However, in the case of treaties, the budget, and the selection of the prime minister, the House of Councillors can only delay passage, but not block the legislation. As a result, the House of Representatives is considered the more powerful house.
            Members of the House of Representatives, who are elected to a maximum of four years, sit for a shorter term than members of the House of Councillors, who are elected to full six-year terms. The lower house can also be dissolved by the Prime Minister or the passage of a nonconfidence motion, while the House of Councillors cannot be dissolved. Thus the House of Representatives is considered to be more sensitive to public opinion, and is termed the "lower house".
            The term "lower house" is also a legacy of the 1889 Meiji Constitution, when the House of Peers functioned as an aristocratic upper house in a format similar to the House of Lords in the Westminster system, or the Reichsrat in the Prussian-based German government of the time.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Sword Beach was the codename of one of the five main landing beaches in Operation Neptune, the initial assault phase of Operation Overlord, the Allied invasion of Normandy on 6 June 1944.
Stretching 8 km from Ouistreham to Saint-Aubin-sur-Mer it was the furthest east of the landing points and around 15 km from Caen. The landing site was divided into four zones - Oboe, Peter, Queen and Roger (west-east). The German defences consisted of beach obstacles, anti-tank ditches, mines, machineguns and mortars at the beaches and across the River Orne at Merville there were heavy guns. The defending troops belonged to the German 716th Static Infantry Division and could call on the support of the nearby 21st Panzer division. The landing forces were the British I Corps, comprising British 3rd Infantry Division and the 27th Armoured Brigade.
The landing was concentrated in the Queen sector, on the beach of Hermanville-sur-Mer. The key objective was to quickly reach and capture the key town of Caen and the nearby Carpiquet aerodrome to the west. Landings began at 0725 when the 3rd Division landed in Peter and Queen. Attached Commando units were tasked with seizing the bridges on the Orne River and the Caen Canal, linking up with paratroops of the 6th Airborne Division who were holding the bridges and had earlier destroyed the batteries at Merville. Resistance on the beach was weak, within 45 minutes the fighting had been pushed inland and on the east flank the Commando units had reached the Orne and the paratroopers by midday. The British had been unable to link up with the Canadian forces to the west until much later in the day. The only significant German counter-attacks of the entire landing came from 1600 into this area. In two attacks the 21st Panzer Division pushed all the way from near Caen to the beach between Lion-sur-Mer and Luc-sur-Mer and were only fully neutralized by late evening. 54 German tanks were destroyed or disabled out of 98.
The day ended with 28,845 British troops ashore and only 630 casualties. However Caen had not been reached and in the face of stiffening resistance the assault had stalled 6 km short of the town. British forces had been bogged down on the beaches by the sheer volume of men and equipment being unloaded.
The beaches of D-Day are still known by their invasion codenames today.

Sword BeachSword Beach Sources
Reynolds, Michael (2003). Eagles and Bulldogs in Normandy 1944. Casemate, Havertown, PA, USA, 230 pp. ISBN 1-86227-201-8. 

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Châtillon (French diminutive formed from châtel, i.e. castle) is a common place name in French-speaking countires, and may refer to:
It is the name of several places:

Châtillon (family), e.g. Hugh I of Châtillon
Battle of Châtillon during the Siege of Paris in the Franco-Prussian War (1870/1871)
In Belgium

  • Châtillon, Belgium, in the province of Luxembourg
    In Italy

    • Châtillon, Italy, in the Aosta Valley
      In Switzerland

      • Châtillon, Fribourg, in the Canton of Fribourg
        Châtillon, Jura, Switzerland, in the Canton of Jura
        Châtillon, Berne, part of the municipality of Prêles in the Canton of Berne
        In France

        • Châtillon, Allier, in the Allier département
          Châtillon, Jura, France, in the Jura département
          Châtillon, Rhône, in the Rhône département
          Châtillon, Vienne, in the Vienne département
          Châtillon, Hauts-de-Seine, in the Hauts-de-Seine département

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

As of the census² of 2000, there were 61,799 people, 23,182 households, and 15,114 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,368.2/km² (3,542.9/mi²). There were 25,639 housing units at an average density of 567.6/km² (1,469.9/mi²). The racial makeup of the city was 47.02% White, 43.26% African American, 0.49% Native American, 0.33% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 5.86% from other races, and 3.03% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 11.75% of the population.
There were 23,182 households out of which 35.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 32.9% were married couples living together, 27.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.8% were non-families. 29.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.60 and the average family size was 3.23.
In the city the population was spread out with 31.6% under the age of 18, 9.9% from 18 to 24, 28.3% from 25 to 44, 18.7% from 45 to 64, and 11.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 31 years. For every 100 females there were 87.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 81.0 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $26,485, and the median income for a family was $29,945. Males had a median income of $31,614 versus $22,714 for females. The per capita income for the city was $13,816. About 24.7% of families and 28.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 40.2% of those under age 18 and 16.3% of those age 65 or over.


Main article: History of Saginaw, Michigan History
Saginaw is classified as a Home Rule City under the Michigan Home Rule Cities Act which permits cities to exercise "Home Rule" powers, among which is the power to frame and adopt its own City Charter which serves as the fundamental law of the city, in a manner similar to a Constitution for a national or state government. The present Charter was adopted in 1935 and took effect on January 6, 1936.

Government and politics

Council-Manager form of government
Pursuant to the City Charter, Saginaw is governed by a nine member elected at-large Council. The term of office for a member of the City Council is four years commencing with the first meeting following a regular municipal election. The terms of Council members are staggered so that the entire Council is not subject to re-election at the same time; alternatively either four or five members are elected in each odd-numbered year.
In July of 2007, Councilperson Willie Haynes pleaded guilty in Federal Court to one count of filing false labor union financial statements in excess of five thousand and less than ten thousand dollars. The crime occurred between 2001 and 2003, while he was treasurer of the UAW local at the General Motors Powertrain plant in Bay City, Michigan.
Councilperson Haynes has decided to remain in office. While he pled guilty to filing false information, a media report in the Saginaw News stated that he actually embezzled between ten thousand and twenty thousand dollars from the Union. However, a conviction for his actual crime would have removed him from office under the terms of the City Charter.
See also: List of City Council members

City Council
The members of the Council select one of its own members to serve as Mayor for a two year term. The Mayor is chosen at the first meeting following a regular municipal election and a Mayor pro-tempore (usually simply called "Mayor pro-tem") at the same time. The Mayor's principal function is to preside at meetings of the City Council. The Mayor has the prerogative to make some appointments to various boards and commissions, and otherwise serves in a ceremonial role. The current Mayor is Carol B. Cottrell and the Mayor pro-tempore is Wilmer Jones Ham.
Mayor pro-tem Ham has currently (as of 2007) been charged with two felonies for her role in an unusual fire situation. The county prosecutor for a nearby county has been asked to assume authority over the matter to avoid a potential conflict of interest. Mayor pro-tem Ham has refused to step down during the criminal case. In an April, 2007 media report it was reported that Ham's charges had been increased from a five year felony to a ten year felony at a preliminary hearing.
Originally Ham's landscaper was blamed for the alleged arson. As of June 2007, the landscaper has been arrested at the request of Ham's attorney while dining at the local Old Country Buffet, and he has been ordered to remain in jail until Ham can use his testimony at her felony trial.
If Ham is convicted of the charge before her term of office ends in November she will be removed from office.
See also: List of Mayors of Saginaw

Mayor and Mayor Pro-tempore
Actual executive power is vested in a city manager, who is a city employee appointed by the City Council. The position of city manager has been, at times, caught up in an ongoing, sometimes racial, fight for city control. Many of the employees filling the position have been fired after short periods of time in office. The present city manager is Darnell Earley who was selected by the City Council at its June 5, 2006 meeting. Prior to his appointment, Earley had been serving as interim city manager since September, 2005 after the previous officeholder, Cecil Collins, was removed from office by the City Council.
See also: List of city managers

City Manager
A Charter Revision Commission is undertaking a process of drafting and proposing for voter approval a new city charter for the City of Saginaw.

City Charter revision
Under the provisions of the Home Rule Cities Act, the voters of the city elected a nine member Charter Revision Commission on November 2, 2004. The Commissioners begun their three-year term of office on November 16, 2004. If the body fails to complete its task during this time it will automatically dissolve. This Commission has the power to frame a new city charter and submit it for adoption or rejection by the voters. During the campaign for electing the Commission, the major issues included the stability of the City Manager form of government for the City. Earlier in the same year, City Manager Deborah Kimble had been removed from office by the City Council under contentious circumstances after having only served for 18 months. Ethnic and Racial division on the City Council that led to the office of Mayor having been held for eight years by Gary L. Loster, an African-American, followed by Wilmer Jones Ham, also an African-American, for four years fueled a push by the main proponents for Charter Revision for having the Mayor of Saginaw directly elected by the voters rather than the City Council. Other prominent issues were a desire to have the council elected by wards rather than from the city at-large and increased efficiency and accountability in city government. Much of the latter issue was prompted by well-publicized reports of mismanagement of money by certain city officials. The leading proponents of charter revision in the election were the father and son duo of Allen C. Schmid and Gregory C. Schmid, both attorneys.

The Commission's Chairwoman is Susan Carter who previously had served as a member of the City Council and Mayor pro tempore. A majority of the Commission consists of members who strongly favor a revision of a charter rather than a more conservative process of amending the current charter.

Michigan's Governor Jennifer M. Granholm reviewed the proposed charter upon having received a report from the Attorney General and returned it to the Charter Commission with her approval for being submitted to a vote of the City's electors. The proposal to be submitted to the voters is the second version presented for review by the Attorney General, the first version was reviewed by the Attorney General's staff and given a recommendation to reject. The Charter Commission subsequently revised the Charter draft. If the Charter proposal is rejected by the voters at the August 7, 2007 election, the Commission would only have one remaining available election date (November 6, 2007) at which to submitted another proposal before it's term ends on November 16, 2007.

Current Status
The Commission's proposal calls for combining the police and fire departments into a single Public Safety Department. Under this plan, by the year 2020 all police officers will become fully trained and certified fire fighters and all fire fighters will become fully trained and certified police officers. All police and fire stations in the city will function as dual-purpose public safety stations. The proposal also limits the ability for disciplined or terminated city employees to sue the city. The districts for the election of city council members each stretch across the city from the west to the east city limits containing territory of both the west side and east side. Because of the historical trend of lower voter turnout on the east side, it is argued by some that the districts could limit the representation for east side by ensuring the election of a council consisting of nearly all west side residents. The revised charter proposal would pay the Mayor a full-time salary and the Council members would be paid more. The plan has been criticized because of the City's present financial distress. The plan would consolidate the city's operations into seven departments. A controversial provision of the proposed charter is the creation of an office of Ombudsman. According to the document, the ombudsman would have broad investigative powers. The review by the Attorney General found some powers of the office to be illegal. Once such example is the power to compel affidavits from those who aren't city employees. The ombudsman's office was especially criticized by the Police Officers Association of Michigan whose affiliate represents the police officers of the City of Saginaw.

The city itself is in an extreme budget crisis. A "cap" on property taxes was imposed in 1978 by means of an amendment to the City Charter adopted by the voters, on both the method of imposing the tax and on the total amount that can be collected. The city, formerly having a population of approximately 100,000 in the 1960s, is trying to support itself with an income tax imposed on those businesses which still remain within city limits — and those persons still employed who reside within the city. However, the many retired city employees require a large amount of the city's budget, and police, fire, and recreation have all suffered. Saginaw owns a large and very popular water park, but it has been closed for three years (as of 2006).

Budget and finance
The City levies a rubbish collection millage and charges a $50 special assessment to each household. These collected fees will raise $3.1 million of the $3.6 million budgeted (for 2007) for the Rubbish Collection Fund.
From this fund, the City pays Waste Management $3.59 per house per month for rubbish collection and $1.62 per house per month (for eight months only) for yard waste collection. The 2007 budget is calculated on 23,258 households, for a total of $1.303 million.
This fund also covers landfill tipping fees paid to Waste Management, totaling just under $604,000 for 2007, for a total contract with the company for $1.9 million.
This has led some to believe and report that the City is illegally using the remaining $1.7 million. But the Rubbish Collection fund also includes related services such as environmental improvement and enforcement, brush collection and the operation of a large composting facility.
Despite the outsourcing of collection and removal, the City still has staff in place to oversee various aspects of the rubbish collection process, as well as legacy costs such as pensions and retiree health care. Additionally, like most cities, Saginaw practices cost allocation accounting, in which general administrative salaries and other services funded from the General Fund that are directed toward the rubbish and composting operations be charged back to that account.
Misuse of funds collected through a special assessment is a violation of state law. Some have questioned the City's adherence to this law. State law enforcement officials are not among them, and those who question it appear to not be familiar with the entire fund budget or the budgeting process.

Trash assessment issues
To quote from the April 17, 2007 Saginaw News:
Two Saginaw City Council members are calling for Saginaw Housing Commissioners Frederick D. Ford and Al Holiday to quit in the wake of a series of missteps at the public housing agency. City Councilmen Andrew Wendt and William Federspiel made the demand after they and their colleagues grilled Commission Executive Director Duane L. Walker for 90 minutes Monday night. "Right now, Fred Ford and Al Holiday are putting a dark cloud over the city," Wendt said. "I asked them to step down for the betterment of the residents they serve." Ford, who was present when Wendt called for his ouster, said after the meeting he would "absolutely not" comment. The Saginaw News could not reach Holiday. Housing leaders ran afoul of federal regulators with an improper half-million-dollar real estate deal and tried to bail themselves out by entering into a failed deal with self-styled Bishop Frumentius, who is four-time fraud convict Daniel E. Phelps. Not only are council members struggling with how much oversight to exert, but housing officials are awaiting a judgment on sanctions they face for their mistakes. Officials from both sides say they are in limbo awaiting the government's next move. U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development enforcement officials have not responded to a U.S. inspector general's September finding that the commission misspent more than $570,000. The inspector general recommended sanctions that include a range of punishments from suspension up to firing. Ford, Holiday and Commission President Parrish Anderson face sanctions.
Other media reports indicite that Housing money was also spent on a social event held by Mayor Jones-Ham during her term at Mayor. To quote the September 28, 2006, Executive Summary of a US Dept of Housing Inspector General Report on the issue:
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's (HUD) Office of Inspector General audited the Saginaw Housing Commission's (Commission) Public Housing Operating Fund program (program). We initiated the audit based on a request from the Detroit Office of Public Housing for HUD. The audit was also part of the activities in our fiscal year 2006 annual audit plan. Our objective was to determine whether the Commission properly used its program funds subject to its annual contributions contract, other agreements, or federal regulations for the benefit of its program residents. The Commission improperly acquired the Saginaw County Fairgrounds property (property), which included a harness raceway, using its program funds. Without required HUD approval, the Commission used nearly $536,000 in program funds to pay for the property's acquisition costs. Because of the Commission's improper use of these funds, its program also lost more than $25,000 in interest income that would have been realized if the funds had been invested. The Commission failed to file a required declaration of trust to evidence its covenant not to convey or encumber the property and to protect HUD's rights and interests. Further, the Commission entered into eight rooftop lease agreements without required HUD approval and did not restrict more than $12,000 in revenue to pay for program expenses. Instead, the revenue paid for inappropriate expenses such as meals and refreshments for its board meetings, appraisal services related to the purchase of the property, and contributions to the mayor of the City of Saginaw's (City) college scholarship fund and other events honoring the City's mayors. We recommend that the director of HUD's Detroit Office of Public Housing require the Commission to (1) reimburse its program for the inappropriate use of funds and lost interest income cited in this report, (2) file a declaration of trust on the property if it has not been sold, (3) submit its current rooftop lease agreements to HUD for approval, and (4) implement adequate procedures and controls to address the findings contained in this report. We also recommend that the director of HUD's Departmental Enforcement Center pursue administrative sanctions against the Commission's former executive director and its board members involved in the improper purchase of the property.
Complete report at HUD Website: link

Saginaw Housing Commission Issues
As of 2006, the City has seen a very large increase in criminal shootings and armed robberies. The city has also seen an increase in arson, which claimed about 60 abandoned homes in the ten days following Halloween 2006 alone. A look at Saginaw's violent crime rates revealed the following:
Murder, 3.47 times the national average.
Rape, 3.38 times the national average.
Robbery, 1.31 times the national average.
Aggravated assault, 6.30 times the national average.
Arson, 4.92 times the national average.
Overall violent crime, 4.55 times the national average.
The city's budget woes and a dysfunctional city council, plus a dysfunctional police/union and police racial/political relationship are widely blamed. A proposal has been placed on the county ballot to tax the entire county as an additional public safety tax, with the money to be given to the non-Saginaw City major police departments in the county, who would hire officers using that money and be responsible for the retirement and health benefits of those officers.
The officers would then be assigned to a task force, sworn as deputies by the sheriff to gain county wide powers, and would function as a second police force for the City. It is thought that as they will be outside the current political and union problems they will be able to effectively patrol and arrest criminals.
During the August 8, 2006 election the proposal was soundly defeated by a 20% margin. Local democratic leaders are publicly pondering whether to seek a scaled back version of the plan, seek slightly more taxes to increase the number of regular deputies, or lay off some existing deputies to allow crime to increase in the county outlying areas and thereby make the voters more supportive of additional police.
An additional internal City ballot proposal was proposed and placed for vote at a special election held on May 2, 2006 to seek additional taxes, up to 6 mills on the taxable value of property, within the City to maintain the current level of officers. This authorization passed with a vote of 7758 in favor and 3417 against, despite a strong expectation that it would fail by many among the local news media and general public. A prior attempt to seek additional funding by means of a special tax levy, proposed at a special election failed a year earlier in May 2005.

Crime and Law Enforcement Issues
Saginaw does own a water treatment system which supplies drinking and industrial water to most of the surrounding areas within the county. Recently, the city has forbidden any new residents or employers from moving into the county unless their neighboring governments agree to "425 Agreements," which are state-permitted agreements under which the city can impose its property and income taxes on residents or employers moving into the county.
The City of Saginaw, along with the City of Midland, constructed a 65 mile long pipeline in 1948 to supply water from Lake Huron at White Stone Point, north of Au Gres, Michigan. Midland and Saginaw jointly own and operate this water supply system. A criticism of Saginaw's policies with regard to providing water to adjacent suburbs is that the City greatly enabled commercial, residential and industrial growth to take place outside of the city limits which led to the decline of the tax base inside the city limits. Some argue that had the city required that developers wishing to receive city water and sewer services petition to be annexed to the city, the city would have thereby expanded its boundaries and continued to incorporate the growing tax base that now is present in such areas as Saginaw Charter Township and Kochville Township.

Municipal water supply
Saginaw, as well as Saginaw County as a whole, has long been a bastion for the Democratic party. During the 2006 midterm election, Democratic incumbent Jennifer Granholm received 49,556 (61%) votes to opponent Dick DeVos' 30,684 (38%) votes in Saginaw County. Saginaw is located within Michigan's 5th congressional district and is represented in the 110th United States Congress by Dale E. Kildee, (D). In the State Legislature, the City of Saginaw is in the 32nd State Senate District represented by Roger Kahn, a Republican, and in the 95th State Representative District represented by Andrew Coulouris, a Democrat.


The Saginaw Public Schools District (SPSD) is the school district that controls 26 public elementary, middle and high schools in Saginaw and 1 elementary school in the nearby City of Zilwaukee. The service area comprising the district includes the City of Saginaw, City of Zilwaukee and Kochville Township, all within Saginaw County. The district is governed by a seven member elected board of education. The board selects a superintendent for the district. The current superintendent is Dr. Gerald D. Dawkins.
Like many urban U.S. school districts, SPSD suffered with a number of problems throughout the latter half of the 20th century, including overcrowding, underfunding, mismanagement and a high dropout rate. A number of school reform initiatives have since been undertaken to improve the system's performance.

Public education
Neighboring Area Public High Schools

Arthur Hill High School
Saginaw Arts and Sciences Academy
Saginaw High School
Carrollton High School
Heritage High School
Buena Vista High School
Bridgeport High School
Swan Valley High School Public high schools
Saginaw is home to a number of private elementary and secondary school programs, some of which are located within the City itself, and others which include the City of Saginaw within their areas of service.

Private education

St. Josaphat (Closed)
St. Thomas Aquinas
St. Stephen
St. Helen
Sts. Peter and Paul
Peace Lutheran School
Bethlehem Lutheran School
Holy Cross Lutheran School Private grade schools
Private High Schools

Michigan Lutheran Seminary
Community Baptist Christian School
Valley Lutheran High School (Michigan) — Located in Saginaw Township
Grace Christian School
Nouvel Catholic Central High School — Located in Saginaw Township Private schools
The City of Saginaw is located within the community college district of Delta College. Although not located within the city, Saginaw Valley State University located in nearby Kochville Township enrolls and employs a substantial number of city residents. Central Michigan University, Off-Campus Programs, offers Bachelor's and Master's degree programs to working adults in an accelerated format in Kochville Township. Davenport University, a private academic institution which formerly occupied a campus in downtown Saginaw that relocated to Kochville Township in 2002, also enrolls a large number of city residents.
See also: List of schools in Saginaw, Michigan

Higher education

Local Media

WNEM-TV (Channel 5), CBS
WJRT-TV (Channel 12), ABC (Flint)
WDCP-TV (Channel 19), PBS (Bay City-University Center)
WEYI-TV (Channel 25), NBC
WBSF-TV (Channel 46), CW
WAQP-TV (Channel 49), Tri-State Christian TV/TBN
WSMH-TV (Channel 66), Fox (Flint) TV stations
Radio stations licensed within the immediate Saginaw area (Saginaw County) are listed. See also Bay City, Midland, and Flint.

790 AM WSGW - News/Talk Newsradio 790
1250 AM WNEM - All News
1400 AM WSAM - Light Adult Contemporary The Bay 1400AM
90.9 FM WTRK - Contemporary Christian Air 1
93.3 FM WKQZ - Modern Rock The Rock Station – licensed to Midland, although studios are in Saginaw.
93.7 FM WRCL - Rhythmic Contemporary Hits Club 93-7
94.5 FM WCEN - Country 94.5 The Moose
96.1 FM WHNN - Classic Hits 96 WHNN
97.3 FM WMJO - 80's/90's Rock/Alternative 97.3 JOE FM
98.1 FM WKCQ - Country 98FM KCQ
100.5 FM WSGW - News/Talk (not complete simulcast of AM 790)
102.5 FM WIOG - Top 40
104.1 FM WSAG - Simulcast of 1400 AM The Bay
104.5 FM WILZ - Classic Rock Wheelz 104.5 & 101
106.3 FM WGER - Bright Adult Contemporary Magic 106.3
107.1 FM WTLZ - Mainstream Urban Hot 107.1 Radio stations
Charter Communications operates a cable television network servicing the City of Saginaw under a franchise agreement.

Saginaw, Michigan Cable Television

The Saginaw News — Daily — estimated circulation near 50,000 daily
Review Magazine — Bi-Weekly
The Saginaw Press — Weekly Newspapers

There is a memorable reference to Saginaw in Paul Simon's song "America" which was written at the Saginaw YMCA after a concert.
Country music singer Lefty Frizzell recorded a hit song entitled "Saginaw, Michigan". It was later discovered that Lefty was actually singing about Saginaw Bay, not the city of Saginaw. He had apparently gone on a fishing trip on the bay with a relative, which prompted the song.
On a two part episode of Seinfeld (The Bottle Deposit, Part 1 and Part 2), characters Newman and Cosmo Kramer conduct a plan to drive empty soda pop cans to Saginaw to receive Michigan's ten cents-per-can deposit while transporting mail from New York City to the regional mail sorting facility.
Tin Pan Alley artist Isham Jones was raised in Saginaw. It was while he was working in a coal mine and daydreaming about being a musician that he crashed his mule train. Even though no one was injured, it scared him so much that he left and never came back.
The city is mentioned in numerous episodes of the TV show, Home Improvement, which was set in Michigan.
During the first week of October 2006, "Saginaw" was the bonus puzzle on the game show Wheel of Fortune. Pat Sajak asked co-host Vanna White if she had ever been to Saginaw, to which she responded that she had, and it was a very nice city.
An episode ("Nightmare") of the TV show Supernatural was set in Saginaw.
As a part of his 50 States project, on the album Michigan Sufjan Stevens sings "Saginaw Saginaw".
The Marx Brothers performed their vaudville act for an entire week at the Jeffers Theatre in Saginaw, Michigan starting June, 18th 1911. The price of admission was $0.10. This was 2 decades before they achieved worldwide fame.
In "The Big Chill," Harold Cooper (Kevin Kline) and Nick Carlton (William Hurt) discuss almost buying some land near Saginaw when they were in college. Saginaw in entertainment

Notable natives

Flag of Japan Tokushima, Japan
Flag of Mexico Zapopan, Jalisco, Mexico
Flag of Nigeria Awka, Anambra, Nigeria

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are organic chemical compounds that have high enough vapour pressures under normal conditions to significantly vaporize and enter the atmosphere. (The term VOC is also occasionally used as an abbreviation, especially in biological contexts, for "volatile organic carbon".) A wide range of carbon-based molecules, such as aldehydes, ketones, and hydrocarbons are VOC's. The term often is used in a legal or regulatory context and in such cases the precise definition is a matter of law. These definitions can be contradictory and may contain "loopholes"; e.g. exceptions, exemptions, and exclusions. Others believe the concept that a volatile organic compound is any organic that participates in a photoreaction, as found in the EPA's definition, is very broad and vague. Organics that are not volatile, as described above, can fall into that definition. The term may refer both to well characterized organic compounds and to mixtures of variable composition. Most often the definition used is one from the United States Environmental Protection Agency (see below).

Sources of VOCs
VOCs are sometimes accidentally released into the environment, where they can damage soil and groundwater. Vapours of VOCs escaping into the air contribute to air pollution.
VOCs are an important outdoor air pollutant. In this field they are often divided into the separate categories of methane (CH4) and non-methane (NMVOCs). Methane is an extremely efficient greenhouse gas which contributes to enhanced global warming. Other hydrocarbon VOCs are also significant greenhouse gases via their role in creating ozone and in prolonging the life of methane in the atmosphere, although the effect varies depending on local air quality. Within the NMVOCs, the aromatic compounds benzene, toluene and xylene are suspected carcinogens and may lead to leukaemia through prolonged exposure. 1,3-butadiene is another dangerous compound which is often associated with industrial uses.
Some VOCs also react with nitrogen oxides in the air in the presence of sunlight to form ozone. Although ozone is beneficial in the upper atmosphere because it absorbs UV thus protecting humans, plants, and animals from exposure to dangerous solar radiation, it poses a health threat in the lower atmosphere by causing respiratory problems. In addition high concentrations of low level ozone can damage crops and buildings.

Environmental effects
Many VOCs found around the house, such as paint strippers and wood preservatives, contribute to sick building syndrome because of their high vapour pressure. VOC's are often used in paint, carpet backing, plastics, and cosmetics. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has found concentrations of VOCs in indoor air to be 2 to 5 times greater than in outdoor air. During certain activities indoor levels of VOCs may reach 1,000 times that of the outside air. Not all organic compounds are volatile; many plastics (polymers) and other large molecules may not have significant vapor pressure at normal temperatures.
Air quality with reference to Volatile Organic Compund Emission.

Contribution to indoor air pollution
There are a number of different ways to collectively refer to those chemical compounds that participate in photochemical reactions. That is, those that react with other pollutants, in the presence of sunlight, to form tropospheric ozone.
Some of the more common terms are:
While all these terms are used, it is not always clear which pollutants are included in each term. The term "VOC" has the advantage of having precise definitions codified by regulators such as the European Parliament and the US EPA.
Worldwide, legal definitions of the term "VOC" are in many respects, more a matter of policy than a matter of science. For example, because the US EPA Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) has characterized a compound as having "negligible photochemical reactivity" it does not necessarily imply that it is, at any particular time, less reactive than those compounds which are not on the list. Since first establishing the list of exempt compounds in 1977, the EPA has added several to the list, and frequently has several petitions undergoing review.
The traditional US standard to determine if a compound is a non-VOC is to compare its reactivity to that of ethane, which was the least reactive compound on the original list. Unfortunately, this is a very difficult comparison to make as it is frequently impossible to duplicate the real-world conditions in a laboratory. To complicate the issue, typical real-world conditions are different from day to day and from place to place. However, there is ongoing study on the use of a compound's reactivity as a better tool for pollution control regulation than the "is or isn't" approach currently in use. (See Maximum Incremental Reactivity, MIR [1].)

NMHC — Non-Methane Hydrocarbons
NMOG — Non-Methane Organic Gases
NMVOC — Non-Methane Volatile Organic Compounds
ROG — Reactive Organic Gases
SVOC — Semi-Volatile Organic Compounds
TOG — Total Organic Gases
TVOC — Total Volatile Organic Compounds
VOC — Volatile Organic Compounds Terminology and legal definitions
Under European law, the definition of "VOC" is based on evaporation into the atmosphere, rather than reactivity. For example European Union Directive 2004/42/CE which covers VOC emissions from paints and varnishes defines a VOC as any organic compound having an initial boiling point less than or equal to 250°C measured at a standard atmospheric pressure of 101.3 kPa. Directive 94/63/EC which regulates VOC emissions from storage and distribution of petrol simply defines 'vapours` as any gaseous compound which evaporates from petrol.

Volatile organic compound UK classification
40 CFR Part 51.100(s) gives this definition as follows:
Volatile organic compounds (VOC) means any compound of carbon, excluding carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, carbonic acid, metallic carbides or carbonates, and ammonium carbonate, which participates in atmospheric photochemical reactions.
(1) This includes any such organic compound other than the following, which have been determined to have negligible photochemical reactivity: methane; ethane; methylene chloride (dichloromethane); 1,1,1-trichloroethane (methyl chloroform); 1,1,2-trichloro-1,2,2-trifluoroethane (CFC–113); trichlorofluoromethane (CFC–11); dichlorodifluoromethane (CFC–12); chlorodifluoromethane (HCFC–22); trifluoromethane (HFC–23); 1,2-dichloro-1,1,2,2-tetrafluoroethane (CFC–114); chloropentafluoroethane (CFC–115); 1,1,1-trifluoro-2,2-dichloroethane (HCFC–123); 1,1,1,2-tetrafluoroethane (HFC–134a); 1,1-dichloro-1-fluoroethane (HCFC–141b); 1-chloro-1,1-difluoroethane (HCFC–142b); 2-chloro-1,1,1,2-tetrafluoroethane (HCFC–124); pentafluoroethane (HFC–125); 1,1,2,2-tetrafluoroethane (HFC–134); 1,1,1-trifluoroethane (HFC–143a); 1,1-difluoroethane (HFC–152a); parachlorobenzotrifluoride (PCBTF); cyclic, branched, or linear completely methylated siloxanes; acetone; perchloroethylene (tetrachloroethylene); 3,3-dichloro-1,1,1,2,2-pentafluoropropane (HCFC–225ca); 1,3-dichloro-1,1,2,2,3-pentafluoropropane (HCFC–225cb); 1,1,1,2,3,4,4,5,5,5-decafluoropentane (HFC 43–10mee); difluoromethane (HFC–32); ethylfluoride (HFC–161); 1,1,1,3,3,3-hexafluoropropane (HFC–236fa); 1,1,2,2,3-pentafluoropropane (HFC–245ca); 1,1,2,3,3-pentafluoropropane (HFC–245ea); 1,1,1,2,3-pentafluoropropane (HFC–245eb); 1,1,1,3,3-pentafluoropropane (HFC–245fa); 1,1,1,2,3,3-hexafluoropropane (HFC–236ea); 1,1,1,3,3-pentafluorobutane (HFC–365mfc); chlorofluoromethane (HCFC–31); 1- chloro-1-fluoroethane (HCFC–151a); 1,2-dichloro-1,1,2-trifluoroethane (HCFC–123a); 1,1,1,2,2,3,3,4,4-nonafluoro-4-methoxy-butane (C4F9OCH3 or HFE-7100); 2-(difluoromethoxymethyl)-1,1,1,2,3,3,3-heptafluoropropane ((CF3)2CFCF2OCH3); 1-ethoxy-1,1,2,2,3,3,4,4,4-nonafluorobutane (C4F9OC2H5 or HFE-7200); 2-(ethoxydifluoromethyl)-1,1,1,2,3,3,3-heptafluoropropane ((CF3)2CFCF2OC2H5); methyl acetate; 1,1,1,2,2,3,3-heptafluoro-3-methoxy-propane (n-C3F7OCH3 or HFE–7000); 3-ethoxy-1,1,1,2,3,4,4,5,5,6,6,6-dodecafluoro-2-(trifluoromethyl) hexane (HFE–7500); 1,1,1,2,3,3,3-heptafluoropropane (HFC 227ea); methyl formate (HCOOCH3); and perfluorocarbon compounds which fall into these classes:
(i) Cyclic, branched, or linear, completely fluorinated alkanes;
(ii) Cyclic, branched, or linear, completely fluorinated ethers with no unsaturations;
(iii) Cyclic, branched, or linear, completely fluorinated tertiary amines with no unsaturations; and
(iv) Sulfur containing perfluorocarbons with no unsaturations and with sulfur bonds only to carbon and fluorine.
Refer to the current CFR for up-to-date definition [3].

Other relevance

Volatility (physics)
Dutch standards
Organic compound
Photochemical smog
Criteria air contaminants