Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Group Presentation

Posted: November 22, 2011 in Uncategorized

Group 3 was a pretty good group to work with overall. At times it seemed as though there were a few of us who worked a bit harder on getting things prepared, in the end it all worked out and I feel we gave one of, if not the best presentation. We were able to work together and come up with a company and a problem. I feel that most of us were able to implement our ideas and get them into the actual presentation. As for taking all the notes and creating the Power Point presentation I did all of that. I didn’t mind doing it because I know that I am able to put together a decent presentation without and trouble, and that way I knew it would get done. Everyone gave me input on what they wanted on their slides.

I learned that to work well as a group each member needs to be open minded and be willing to concede on some of their wants. We didn’t have one person who tried to control the group and tell everyone what to do and how to do it. We all were able to get our own ideas out to the group. I learned that it is very important to know your topic well so that if someone doesn’t show up for whatever reason you will have to cover for them and take over their part. I think those who were there for the presentation handled that very well, and had we not said anything then no one would have guessed that we were missing someone.

Overall I enjoyed this assignment, it is always fun for me to work with a group and see how other people think and react to my ideas. I think I learned a little bit from each member of our group and was able to grow. This presentation forced us to think of a problem and then a solution for something that we really had no idea about, we had to think outside of our comfort zone and get creative in order to complete this assignment.

Government Access

Posted: May 4, 2011 in Uncategorized

Kevin VanOrden

English 2010

Intermediate Writing

Proposal

 Government Access

Putting your November vote to work! How can you be more involved in your local, state and federal government? For many taxpayers and voters the only time they get personally involved with their government is when they vote for elected officials and when they pay their taxes. Thousands of taxpayers aren’t even old enough to vote so they take an even smaller roll in government. But making your tax dollars and your vote work the way you want them to takes some thought and effort. Currently it isn’t very easy to get involved in the government without spending a considerable amount of time. With all the amazing technology we have, literally at our fingertips, access to our elected officials should be much easier than it is now. Most recently the HB477 Government Records Amendment shows the need to be more involved in the government and their actions. Doing so will save thousands of tax dollars which can be used elsewhere.

 

HB477

The Legislature here in the state of you Utah felt it was time to update the GRAMA Act of 1991. GRAMA which stands for Government Records Access and Management was created to regulate the access to all government documents. They felt that it was outdated and was not protecting their personal lives. They felt that there were far too many requests for documents containing personal information including emails and text messages, and that those requests were for the most part not valid. The purpose of HB477 was to disallow any citizen from requesting transcripts of meetings and conversations that were held at the expense of the tax payers. They were trying to further distance themselves from being for the people and by the people.

 

CLOSED TO THE PUBLIC

One of the main reasons that we all need to get more involved is so that our elected officials know what we want and what our goals are for the future. Granted not everyone will be happy, but that’s just part of how this government works. If the majority does nothing and lets the minority take their thoughts and ideas to the top, the majority will be forced to either sit by and deal with the results or take a stand and make their voice heard. My case in point is that during the 2011 General Legislative Session a bill, HB477 was proposed, voted on, passed and signed by the governor. The minority, congress, had a goal and plan which they followed through with at record speed. This bill went to the floor late in the session and within a few days it found its way onto the law books of the state of Utah, thus restricting and denying access to once public documents. Upon reaching the majority, the rest of the state, an uproar came upon the capitol with a fierceness not often seen. The public was outraged at what had happened and demanded the bill be repealed.

The Utah State Legislature website covers each line item of HB477. Some of the main points that caused all the commotion are:

  • Provides that voice mails, instant messages, video chats, and text messages are not records subject to the act, with some exceptions;
  • provides that personal emails or similar electronic addresses of current or former  government employees or applicants are private records;
  • Modifies the protected record status of communications between legislators and staff in relation to performance of their official duties
  • Provides that data and working papers associate with fiscal not for legislation are protected until legislation has passed

There are many more lines in this bill which, too many to list here. But the main focus of the outcry and this proposal is that in a day and age when every government level from local to federal is seeking to be more open and transparent, this bill did the exact opposite, it literally closed the doors to public access to the dealings of our Senators and Representatives. In any other company most all documents, work related phone calls, communications including texts, emails, voicemails, notes etc. that are made with company property are available to be reviewed by the company. If there are personal emails, texts, messages etc. those should be done on personal phones, emails, or simply on personal time. In some cases companies allow personal use with company property. But in the case of the government most any communication dealing with their duties as public employees should be made available for public review.

OPEN FOR BUSINESS

With the onslaught of letters, phone calls, petitions, and media reports Governor Gary Herbert issued a call for a special session to open on March 24th, 2011 to discuss repealing HB477. A statement by the governor dated March 21st, 2011 states:

“Twenty years ago, the State Legislature passed Utah’s GRAMA (Government Records Access and Management Act). Its proper focus was government transparency and accountability, but it did not and could not anticipate our world of new media.
A public’s right to have access to government records, processes and officials is the hallmark of a modern republic-and a principle I have consistently advocated. Not only have I responded to scores of GRAMA requests in my public career, I support this process as a private citizen. In fact, I care so much about the process in making policy, because the right process yields the right outcomes.
During the recent legislative session, the public hearing process for HB477 did not meet the standard of openness and public dialog such legislation warranted. The bill passed after limited deliberation with veto-proof margins.
I considered a veto. Indeed, a veto would have had symbolic value. Yet the risk of HB477 becoming law immediately upon the Legislature’s veto-override was too great.  Instead, I asked legislative leadership to recall and amend the bill to provide three things: 1) a delayed implementation date, 2) a process for meaningful public and stakeholder input, whereby a replacement bill could be crafted, and 3) reflects my commitment to call a special legislative session to repeal and replace HB477.
It is now clear to me that HB477, both in process and substance, has resulted in a loss of public confidence.  The Utah State Legislature now has the opportunity to work with the media and the public to restore that confidence by forming a working group to create a replacement for HB477. This group should consist of legislators, new and traditional media representatives, and members of the general public.
I expect all stakeholders to engage as honest brokers in good faith-putting aside personal bias and cynicism-for deliberative, open discussion.   The media has committed to finding the right outcome.  The Legislature has committed to the same.  I expect the public to engage and protect their rights.
Any modifications to GRAMA must meet three principles.  First, they must protect the public’s right to know, as transparent and accountable government is essential.  Second, they must protect every individual’s legitimate right to privacy.  Third, they must protect taxpayers against the cost of overreaching “fishing expeditions.”
Let me be clear: I will soon call the Legislature into special session. That was my commitment when I signed the bill, and it is my commitment now. I expect-and the people expect-that the Utah State Legislature will repeal and replace HB477.  This will assure that whatever the outcome for Utah’s GRAMA; there will have been an open process for transparent and accountable government.”

THE COST OF A SPECIAL SESSION

Above I mentioned that voters and taxpayers need to get more involved and put their tax dollars to work. After conducting some research I have found that on average a special session costs in between $20,000 and $50,000 per day, with the scale typically leaning towards the higher end. The $20,000 days are when it is not a full session and is made up of smaller groups and committees; unfortunately this was not the case with the most recent special session. This money could have been spent more wisely somewhere else. One of the reasons given for passing the bill was issues such as this: “West Valley City had to deal with a request for all land-use decisions over the past 30 years; it took 1 full time person 3 months, including multiple reviews by other staff, to fill the request. Costs approached $30,000.” One day of the special session nearly doubled this request for land-use decisions. The money spent covers the per diem for each Representative and Senator, also money for their food, travel and lodging.

CUT UNECESSARY SPENDING & INCREASE PUBLIC AWARNESS

The special session called to repeal HB477 could have been prevented had there been more public awareness prior to the bill being passed in the general session. Solving this problem could be as simple as creating policies regarding the time a proposed bill must be available to the public prior to receiving a vote. Any legislator proposing a bill would need to allow time prior to the ending of the general session to get public input. Using both new and old media to get the word out and to make the public aware of any pending laws is necessary in informing the citizens of Utah and making them aware. There are so many readily available, easy to use and very costs efficient ways to address these matters and make them well know to what is happening.

GETTING TECHNOLOGY AND YOU INVOLVED

There may be times where a petition is required to get congress to reverse a decision or make any decision at all. This solution may take some time and thought but it will be worth the effort. To start off there needs to be a way to create a legitimate and valid online petition. There are groups spending hours and hundreds if not thousands of dollars organizing and putting together events to get people to sign petitions to repeal HB477. One reason for this bill was to replace the outdated GRAMMA bill that did not cover new media. If congress can create a bill that will implement the new technology age, then they should allow the public to use that same technology to voice their opinion. It would be fairly simple to create an online petition, where one would sign in and e-sign their name and validate it with their social security number. To start off with this method will increase the validity of each signature. Currently there is nothing stopping me from signing a petition for myself, my family, friends, neighbors or co-workers. The data collected would be formatted by computer and be available to every congressperson and to the general public. It could further be restricted to registered voters, which would allow for more specific and localized data, but would restrict minors from getting personally involved. Instead of using thousands of sheets of paper, groups could set up secure computers with internet access for people to express their opinion. This method would cut down on costs, would be much faster and there would be instant information available as to how the public feels towards different bills allowing votes to be cast in the House and Senate that truly reflects the public opinion. There will surely be flaws and problems with this system but it is a step in the right direction. To work through these problems and flaws a non-partisan committee or group would oversee this project and promote truthful and ethical petitions. Some may argue that this is already done through polls, but this would be different. This could not be swayed one way or the other; it has a failsafe built-in in that each person is only allowed to e-sign their name one time and it would be much harder to exclude any specific political party.

To create a petition one would need to link their petition to the state database in order to sync Social Security numbers with residents wishing to sign the petition. The group or person starting the petition would then be responsible for putting the word out to the public. There would still be a requirement for the number of signatures.

MAKING YOUR VOICE HEARD

Educating yourself on what the government is doing is the first step to getting involved. Use any and all available resources to stay up to date with what is going on, with how your tax dollars are being spent. If there is proposed legislation that you agree with or do not agree with it is important that you make whoever is representing you, regardless of who you voted for, know your opinion. To find your local Senator and Representative you can visit, http://www.scottriding.com/utahlegislators/. You can find phone numbers and e-mails and much more information about those representing you. Don’t hesitate to send an email or make a phone call. Open the Doors to Your Government; Make Your Voice Heard. Our government was founded on the statement “For the People, By the People.” We are all the people there fore we need to make our government work for us not against us.

Works Cited

Governor Herbert: Repeal and Replace HB477 Mar 21 2011

http://www.utah.gov/governor/news_media/article.html?article=4479

Rubio, Marco “$120,000 will be spent by taxpayers on Charlie Crist’s political photo-op special session.” Friday, July 9th, 2010 in a press release

http://www.politifact.com/florida/statements/2010/jul/14/marco-rubio/rubio-says-special-session-120000-photo-op-crist/

 

The Senate Site. HB477 Why Reverse GRAMA?

 

http://www.senatesite.com/home/hb477/

 

Loftin, Josh; Associated Press. Christensen, Jennie; Cache Valley Daily. March 21st, 2011

 

http://www.cachevalleydaily.com/news/local/Utah-Gov-calls-special-session-on-open-records-118412344.html

 

Image of closed doors.

 

http://www.vote29.com/newmyblog/archives/16467

 

Who Represents Me in the State Capitol?

 

http://www.scottriding.com/utahlegislators/

Peer Review

Posted: May 4, 2011 in Uncategorized

Edward Sean Sweeney

English 2010

Evaluation Draft

Citizen Kane

            Cinema!  Since the first movie ever made on the pictograph people have been making stories come to life on screen.  Citizen Kane marks a land stone[KVO1]  in the art of making movies, even though it was only[KVO2]  made in 1941, we are still using cinematic techniques coined in this movie.  Sited as “a ground-breaking drama loosely based on the life of William Randolph Hearst which is frequently cited as the finest American film ever made” Citizen Kane challenges timeless issues which can haunt any man.

  Citizen Kane was one of the first movies to ever have a non-linear based story-line.  For those of you who don’t know cinema well a linear movie starts with the beginning, then middle, and finishes with an ending.  Citizen Kane starts off with the protagonist Charles Foster Kane on his death bed in his Florida estate.  Upon his last breath holding a snow globe he says the most important line in the movie “Rosebud” and drops the snow globe on the floor.   This starts a chain reaction in the community and gives leeway to a research of Mr. Kane and why such a powerful and rich man left with “rosebud” on his dying lips.  A reporter named Thompson sets out to uncover who the man behind the picture really was.

The movie then embarks on a winding road which gives the viewer insight into Mr. Kane’s live[KVO3]  and the highs and lows he experiences.  In this brilliantly set movie there is a small newsreel which gives a prospective of the public views on Mr. Kane and a look at his public and business life. This view allows the audience to get a feel of what the average Joe thinks of Mr. Kane and the success and political downfalls he experiences.  This is a link of the clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qY-eqnw_DXE

Wonderfully[KVO4]  set, the way we learn about Charles Kane is through the eyes of the closest people around him and the different ages where he met great success and the imminent end he fell upon.  This allows the character to portray different sides of Charles Kane and give him a deep and rich character with flaws and great qualities alike.  There are many ways the new reporters search for the information on Kane, the first interview isn’t of someone[KVO5] , Thompson is granted access to the unpublished memoirs of Kane’s early guardian, the late Wall Street banker Walter P. Thatcher.  This is when we learn of Mr. Kane’s childhood and the only up-beat part of the entire movie, until he’s forced to leave his parents and become a protégé.

The second interview is of one of Kane’s business managers and yes man who helped start the “inquirer” a newspaper.  This interview has focus on young Kane who is eager and willing to create something.  He is portrayed as a young man with nothing to lose and he even instates a diplomatic “Declaration of Principles” where he promises to tell his readers the truth and uphold honesty and good morals.  This is eventually proven wrong and become a key component to seeing how Kane become corrupt over the years of power and abuse of power.

Eventually through all of the interviews the story is uncovered and leaves Kane a shell of the man he seemed to be.  This film is incredible because it talks about issues many people weren’t looking at and was way ahead of its time.  It also used many transitions and camera angles that were never used before and created a whole new way to look at cinema.  Through all the transitions this story tells one of a man who went from rags to riches and beyond.  It’s heartfelt and you see a man who seemed to be on top of the world, lose it all to his own self embellishment.  It’s a must see for all you black and white buffs and a maybe see for those of you who have long attention spans.  This movie is 193 minutes long and can get boring at times, but if you get a chance to watch it with a film expert or teacher you’ll never look at movies the same way ever again.

Peer Review
1. In what specific passages is the topic thoroughly developed and are the criteria clear and appropriate for the audience?
Green. Mark the criteria. Are there passages in which specific details are given that relate to the criteria and answer readers’ questions? Yellow Mark them. Are there passages that mention different perspectives (positive and negative) on the thing being evaluated? In which passages could the evaluation be clearer or more useful to readers? What are some strategies to do this? Your review is very clear. You have covered the topic well and explained certain things that help the reader to understand what you are talking about. Red.

2. What are some strategies that might make the introduction more engaging? I enjoyed your intro. The only suggestion I would have is to put a little more detail about the movie, producer, director etc.

3. How would you describe the voice? At what points does that voice seem appropriate, given my intended audience and topic? What strategies might make the voice clearer or more appropriate?  I liked the voice that you gave. It sounded like someone who has seen a lot of movies and really knows what you are talking about. Great paper.

4. Are there clear expectations for the readers, and links between paragraphs or larger sections of text? What strategies would make the structure of my evaluation clear? My expectation was to understand who Mr. Kane was and a little about the movie. You did a good job of that. Possibly expand more on the movie, use some more quotes.

5. How does the conclusion reinforce or extend the value judgment being made in the evaluation? What strategies would make the conclusion more effective?  Your conclusion makes me want to see this film. I like how you were bluntly honest and said that it could be long and boring for some. Even with this statement, I want to see it.

6. If the review or evaluation includes photographs or other visual elements, what does this material contribute to the clarity and usefulness of my evaluation? Does the writer need to add or revise captions for pictures or legends for charts, graphs, or maps? Are there any places in the draft where visual information needs to be added? If so, what kind(s) of visuals should they be?  I liked the photo you used. It gives me a visual of who you are talking about and allows me to put a name with a face.

7. What does the writer do especially well in the draft? You give a good explanation of the film and you left me wanting to see the movie. It is well written and has very few errors.

8. What one or two things would most improve the draft? I think rewording a few things would help out, and maybe adding some more details about the movie.


 [KVO1]Citizen Kane is a land mark in…

 [KVO2]… It was made in 1941…

 [KVO3]Life

 [KVO4]I don’t think you need to start with Wonderfully set. Just start with The Way…

 [KVO5]Someone; but something…

A Woman in a Man’s World

By Kevin VanOrden

At a time when in the United States women had just been given the right to vote, but were mainly kept out of the business world, Nellie V. Vanderlinden arrived alone at the age of 23 having just immigrated from Holland. She spent a short time in New York seeing the sights and then headed west on a train to begin her new life and truly an adventure in Salt Lake City, Utah that started May 1st, 1923.

Growing up Nellie was raised in a family that was somewhat well to do. Her father owned a small hotel with her mother doing the cooking. Her parents were very adamant about her receiving an education, always encouraging her to continue her education. One of Nellie’s brothers became a teacher and the other a pharmacist, whose footsteps she would follow. In Holland the education system is very different than it is here. Public schooling ends after the eighth grade at which point you would have to make a decision, go to work, be an apprentice to learn a trade or test into the university for a higher education. Nellie got into the university and studied to become a pharmacist her dad paying her tuition. During this time she also studied English with a dream to some day to come to the United States. After graduating with honors she found a position in an apothecary, hoping to gain real life experience and be better a better pharmacist. From the time when she was very young all the way until she graduated from the university she was taught that the keys to life are hard work and an education.

After Nellie’s father passed away she made the decision to come to the United States. Nellie spoke to her brothers and her church leaders about this idea and they all discouraged her they told her that she had a good life and a prosperous future in Holland and that she should stay. Her church leaders told her that in America there were very few women pharmacists, and none in Utah. He told her that the diploma with honors she had received and the experience she had gained would not help her get a job in the United States. Many other people from Holland had immigrated to the U.S. and to Utah and most had found jobs doing domestic work for very little money, regardless of having an education. Even though she believed what she had been told, she had made up her mind and was going to Utah. Her brothers saw her off at the port and told her anytime she wanted to return to Holland they would immediately send her money to do so. Nellie knew that if she ever returned it would only be for a visit and that the United States was her new home.

Nellie spent the first week of May exploring Utah, meeting new people, forming friendships and finding a place to live. After that first week she went to the state capital to inquire about taking the state board to get her pharmacy license. The people that she spoke to were very surprised to see a women pharmacist and informed her that she would have to become a citizen of the United States before she could take the test. At the time it took five years to become a citizen. Sadly, with tears streaming down her cheeks, she returned to her new apartment facing the reality of what had been told to her in Holland. Shortly after that she set out to find a job, her first being a temporary one at ZCMI. Later she applied for a housekeeping job for the head Colonel of Fort Douglas. While interviewing with the Colonel’s wife Nellie told her that she really wanted the job, but didn’t know the first thing about washing dishes, cooking, or cleaning. The very gracious wife told her that she would teach Nellie everything she needed to know and that she could have the job. Nellie worked in the Colonel’s home for three years.

It was during those three years that Nellie would spend her days off making rounds to the local pharmacies trying to land a job. Every pharmacy she went to gave her the same answer; they had never heard of a woman pharmacist and she was turned away. Although she felt deeply frustrated she was determined and kept trying. Finally, she offered to work for no money, just the experience at which point she was allowed to start her life in the pharmacy world. At first her every move was doubled checked and they watched over her very closely. But this only lasted a short while, once they saw that she truly did know what she was doing and knew as much as any other pharmacist did.

Finally the mandatory five years had passed; she became a citizen and was allowed to take the state board exam in order to receive her pharmacy license. It was at this time that she found out that she was given incorrect information. She didn’t have to wait five years and be a citizen to take the exam, and that she could have taken it right at the beginning of her life in Utah. Nellie never regretted spending those five years spent making a name for herself and learning so many other things. It was also during that time that she met and fell in love with her future husband. Nellie passed the exam with very high scores and became the first woman pharmacist in Utah at Auerbach’s Pharmacy, only to quit after a year to have her first of two children. Raising her daughter and two years later a son became her full time job while her husband worked in various jobs. Going through the Great Depression was a very difficult time for all. Nellie’s husband was fortunate enough to be hired out of two hundred applicants to work as a ranch hand near the Cotton Bottom in the Salt Lake Valley. Living in a small cabin for the first 5 years of her children’s lives was very difficult. When her daughter reached the age to begin school they had to move so that Beverly and Art, Nellie’s children, could attend school. Once they were both in school all day, Nellie decided it was time to return to her dream of being a pharmacist. She found the perfect job at St. Marks Hospital, working from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm Monday thru Friday as the Chief Pharmacist, which later turned into a full time job as the Hospital grew.

In 1956 she was offered a job at LDS Hospital, which at the time was operated by the LDS Church. The leaders of the LDS Church called her in to offer her the position of Chief Pharmacist at the much larger hospital. They liked what she had done for St. Marks, and wanted her to take the change things around at a pharmacy that was losing money every month and turn it into a profitable business. The pharmacy had a major problem with prescription medicine walking out the door unaccounted for. Nellie was instructed to go in and simply observe and find a way to correct the problem. She found that doctors would go into the pharmacy and take whatever drugs they wanted, whether for them, family or friends. Seeing the great problem she was faced with, Nellie devised a plan to remodel the entire pharmacy at the hospital. The plan made it so the doctors could not enter into the pharmacy, and they had to talk to a pharmacist to get the medicine they need for their patients. Once the remodel was completed it only took a short time for the pharmacy to start seeing profits. During those first few months it was very hard for her, one was that she was hired from outside the pharmacy and was given the chief job ahead of several other pharmacists who already worked there. And two, she had to stay in good standing with the doctors and also stop them from taking drugs that they shouldn’t be taking out of her pharmacy. Nellie worked at LDS Hospital until she was 70 years old, 7 years past the ‘required’ retirement age of 63. They begged her to stay, which she happily did, they even changed the retirement policy so that there weren’t any paper work issues.

During her career she was a member of the Society for the United Nations, the Salt Lake Council of Women, the Altrusa International Club. She maintained career long memberships in The American Pharmaceutical Association and the American Society of Hospital Pharmacists. Nellie also served as the Director of the Utah Pharmaceutical Association and President of the Utah Society of Hospital Pharmacists. After her retirement she received several award from different associations including the one from the Utah Hospital Pharmacy Association. The award she appreciated most was the prestigious Bowl of Hygeia, which was covered in Time Magazine and is given to pharmacists for setting the standards of their profession, for being highly skilled, conscientious practitioners and having a record of dedicated service to their home communities. It was this award that was given to her that proved to her and many others that a woman could do a ‘man’s’ job. She had worked so hard to be accepted by the men in her field and after years of hard work and dedication it was them who gave her this prestigious award.

“One thing I appreciate about this award (The Bowl of Hygeia) is that when I first applied for work here women were not wanted and then, years later, I was chosen by men to receive this award”. – Nellie V. Vanderlinden. The Bowl of Hygeia the recognized symbol of pharmacy. It comes from the ancient Greek goddess Hygieia, the goddess of health. The award was given to pharmacists to recognize a pharmacist for an outstanding record of service to those in their community and for going above and beyond their standard job duties.

The memories that I have of my great-grandmother are of Christmas time. Our entire family, her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren would gather together for a big dinner and just a great time spent together. She would always get each of her descendants a gift from a Dutch store, something to remind us of our heritage.Even after ‘retiring’ Nellie never really stopped working, whether it be in the pharmaceutical industry or at bettering herself or her family. For the two years following her leaving LDS Hospital she worked part time in pharmacies around the valley filling in for pharmacists when they wanted some time off. After a lifetime of loving the water she finally learned to swim after retiring, she was always one who could never stop learning and growing.

Although I did not know Nellie very well, as she passed away when I was young, she has always been an inspiration to me. Hearing of her life lessons and challenges has taught me that through hard work and dedication anything is possible. She lived during some very challenging times and had some seemingly insurmountable trials, but through her willingness to work hard for her dreams she was able to overcome those trials and was truly successful in all aspects of her life. There are many stories of her life that I have not shared here, but the ones I have, I feel have shown that Nellie Vanderlinen was an amazing women.

–Information gathered from my grandmother, my mother, and a few of my aunts and uncles and from a small report displayed in the Veterans Domiciliary in Medford, Oregon to honor women in medicine.

Including:

Creating sup pages

Creating hyperlinks

Uploading Assignments

Inserting reflective writings and uploading videos