On This Day

November 12, 1954

 

 

 

 

Ellis Island closes

On This Day

End of An Era

  • Opened 1892.
  • First immigrant processed: 15-yr-old Irish immigrant Annie Moore, w/ her two younger brothers.
  • 12M immigrants filed through Ellis Island.
  • Last man standing: Nov. 12, 1954, the U.S. released a Norwegian seaman who overstayed shore leave.
On This Day

Why It Matters:

  • Ellis Island, the first FEDERAL immigration center, signified the move of immigration policy away from states & into the hands of the federal gov’t.
  • Ellis Island closure came as federal laws limited immigration for certain ethnicities, making Ellis Island less relevant & effective; many could (or had to) apply for legal status at U.S. embassies.
On This Day

Ellis Island: Did You Know?

  • Although Ellis Island officially closed in 1954, it stopped processing immigrants in the mid-1920s, after the rush of immigration post-WWI.
  • Ellis Island served as: WWII hospital, Coast Guard training center, place to hold alleged communists during the Red Scare.
  • Once known for its oyster beds…or a place to hang pirates.
On This Day

Ships transporting immigrants into New York never landed AT Ellis Island. 1st & 2nd class passengers disembarked in NYC, bypassing the "Gateway To America." 3rd class passengers immediately loaded a barge that took them to Ellis Island for processing.

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Current Events

A SmartHER Veterans Day

The history of Veterans Day & why it matters with a
special guest!

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Current Events
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Quick Quotes

“A little taste of January in November.”

Weather Channel meteorologist Jonathan Erdman on the National Weather Service's arctic cold front prediction, which could result in as many as 170 record cold temperatures being set in coming days. The news of record lows ahead comes after the NOAA reported that last month was the coolest October on record since 2009. Meanwhile, September 2019 tied with September 2015 for the warmest in NOAA’s 140 years.
Quick Quotes

“We welcome Iran’s taking the first step to finally end this nightmare.”

The family of Robert Levinson reacting to news Iran opened a missing person case after years of conflicting accounts about his whereabouts. Levinson, a former FBI agent, went missing in Iran in 2007. He is the longest-held American hostage in U.S. history. Last week, the U.S. gov't increased the reward for info on his whereabouts to $25M.
Quick Quotes

“This is the first time that we have detected a potential chemical of concern in biologic samples from patients with these lung injuries.”

The CDC announcing it found a connection among the 2,000+ cases of lung diseases linked to e-cigarettes and vaping reported nationwide. The vitamin E acetate, an additive used in some THC products, was found in 29 patients so far. The illness has remained a mystery. 39 people in 24 states have died. The median age of those impacted: 53-years-old.
Quick Quotes

“We’ll probably give it to you on Tuesday.”

Over the weekend Pres. Trump indicated another transcript of a call he had with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky could be released in coming days. The call in question took place *before* the July 25th call at the heart of the impeachment inquiry, which enters its eighth week on Monday. The first public impeachment hearings begin Wednesday.
Quick Quotes

“I believe in forgiveness, but I also believe in justice and forgiveness doesn’t rob justice. You don’t get justice too much in Mexico.”

David Langford, who lost his wife and two sons last week when nine members of a Mormon group travelling in northern Mexico were ambushed, gunned down, and set on fire by drug cartel gunmen. Langford, one of many Mormon Americans living in northern Mexico, will relocate in wake of the tragedy.
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Coffee Talk

Your Top 3 in Under 5

Why you should mark Dec. 15th on your calendar, an unknown in the race for the White House & noteworthy news about the impeachment inquiry.

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Sports

CASHING IN…?

The NCAA’s new proposal for potentially paying student-athletes:

Why some call it progressive and others call it phony.

Sports

QUICK CHEAT SHEET

NCAA: Largest governing body in college sports.

College sports = BIG money for schools, coaches and for the NCAA (the nonprofit topped $1 billion in revenue for first time in 2017).

Criticism: Only people NOT making $$ off college sports seem to be the student-athletes themselves.

Sports

THE BACKSTORY

  • Current NCAA rules ban student-athletes from profiting financially off their name, likeness, or image (ex: endorsement deals).
  • Recently, California became the first state to enact a law which will allow college athletes to profit off their name, likeness, or image, forcing the issue to the forefront.
  • At least 10 states introduced similar bills or will soon do so.
Sports

The BIG News

  • For the first time, the NCAA says it will allow student-athletes to profit from their “name, image and likeness.”
  • The NCAA directed its divisions (Div I-III) to “consider” updating their rules no later than 2021, but offered little other specifics. That’s important since rules must be set on a national (not division or state-by-state) level.
Sports

“I don’t see any significant movement towards players having actual rights here. What (the NCAA) really means is ‘severely limited and regulated’ (changes) with very little consequence and benefit to the players.”

ESPN college basketball analyst Jay Bilas. The part-time lawyer and former collegiate athlete says the NCAA's announcement is lip-service and provides no guidance for real change.
Sports

But Wait…Don’t Athletes Get “Paid” in Scholarships?

Full-rides are exceptionally rare.

  • 480,000 student athletes participate in the NCAA.
  • Est. 300,000 play in Div. I or II schools, eligible for scholarships.
  • About 50% of Div I or II student-athletes receive some type of athletic scholarships worth approximately $2.7B total.
Sports

Something To Consider

“Hopefully, there’s a way that players can get compensated legally that makes cheating less appealing, or just improves their experience while they’re here. These guys don’t have time for a part-time job, in-season, out-of-season. They’re here 11 months with us, working around the clock. So, I’m all for it.”

UConn Basketball coach Dan Hurley
Sports

With less than 2% of college athletes "going pro," their college careers grant them a finite amount of time to profit from their athletic abilities. Critics say allowing compensation turns student-athletes into employees rather than students, creating a slippery slope to not prioritize education. What do you think?

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Current Events

Will a longer school day lead to happier families
(and smarter kids)?

Current Events

What Happened

  • Who: Presidential candidate Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) introduced legislation Wednesday called the Family Friendly Schools Act.
  • What: Extends the school day by 3 hours (typically from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.)
  • Why: To ease the burden of childcare on low-income/working families.
Current Events

“It is time we modernize the school schedule to better meet the needs of our students and their families.”

Senator Kamala Harris who introduced the bill that would provide extra money (grants) to 500 schools in low-income communities over the course of five years. The extended day may NOT necessarily include more class time - individual schools would determine how students spent their time whether in instruction or theater, sports, etc.
Current Events

Is This Good For Students?

  • Avg. school day nationwide is around 6.5 hours – This would increase it to 10.
  • “Extended Learning Time” or ELT is a trend in schools across the country, more than doubling between 2009 – 2018.
  • Data mixed on the benefits for children. Some districts say it improved test scores; others say it didn’t.
Current Events

Something To Consider

One recent study in 2015 looked at longer days at school with SHORTER weeks. Some districts have tried this in rural areas or as a cost-saving measure.

5th graders attending school 4 days per week instead of 5 showed a “statistically significant” increase in math scores with the shorter weeks, and no detriment to reading scores.

Current Events

Sen. Harris' plan includes asking the Dept of Education to study the results of schools that receive the grants for extended days to see if the longer school day benefited students and families. What do you think about this idea?

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Health

“IMMUNE AMNESIA”

New study says measles is more dangerous than previously thought, at times eliminating some of your body’s defenses against illnesses like strep, pneumonia or even the flu, for years to come.

Health

What To Know

  • Harvard study measures how measles impacts the body beyond simply the disease itself.
  • Using blood samples from children before and after measles, scientists found antibodies (used to recognize and fight off viruses or bacteria) dropped upwards of 50% after the disease, making their bodies effectively “forget” how to fight off certain illnesses.
Health

“Imagine that your immunity against pathogens is like carrying around a book of photographs of criminals, and someone punched a bunch of holes in it. It would then be much harder to recognize that criminal if you saw them, especially if the holes are punched over important features for recognition, like the eyes or mouth.”

Lead researcher Michael Mina describing how measles induced "immune amnesia" works in the body.
Health

Something To Consider

  • A separate study says the body of a measles patient returned to a ‘baby-like” state of protection – vulnerable temporarily to any number of illnesses.
  • Researchers say measles patients will eventually regain the antibodies they lost, but it may take several years of re-exposure as their body learns to confront these threats again.
Health

Why This Study Matters

Indicates measles impacts the body for years while we see a resurgence fo the highly contagious disease.

  • Measles cases in America are at a 25 year high, with the most measles cases since 1992.
  • As of end of October, 1,250 cases confirmed in 31 states.
Health

Those connected to AND independent of the study alike believe this research underscores the need to vaccinate against measles because of the lasting impact of the illness.

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Quick Quotes

“We’re not going to be victims.”

Temple Emanuel Pres. Michael Atlas-Acuna reacting to the FBI's arrest of a 27-year-old man accused of plotting to blow up the Pueblo, CO synagogue. Research from Tel Aviv University points to an increase in anti-Semitic attacks worldwide with 387 attacks worldwide last year & more than 100 in the United States alone - including the deadliest attack on Jewish people in U.S. history when 11 were killed at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, PA.
Quick Quotes

“This is the time for Mexico, with the help of the United States, to wage WAR on the drug cartels and wipe them off the face of the earth.”

Pres. Trump reacting to the murder of at least nine members of a Mormon group traveling about 100 miles south of the U.S. border in Mexico. The dual US-Mexican citizens were ambushed, gunned down, and set on fire by drug cartel gunmen in what some think is result of a case of mistaken identity.
Quick Quotes

“Today is a historic day for criminal justice reform …”

Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt (R) on the state setting the record for the largest single day commutation of sentences in U.S. history. Last week, the OK Pardon and Parole Board voted unanimously to commute the sentences of 500+ inmates serving sentences for non-violent, low-level crimes. On Monday, most were released. OK's move comes as many states, such as NY, move to enact criminal justice reform for low-level and non-violent offenders.
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“This whole thing of being able to rent a house and then turn it into a party house is ridiculous.”

Orinda city council member Dennis Fay after a shooting took place last week during a party at an Airbnb rental home in Orinda, CA left five dead. In response, Airbnb's co-founder & CEO Brian Chesky said it is banning "party houses" and "redoubling our efforts to combat unauthorized parties and get rid of abusive host and guest conduct."
Quick Quotes

“The issue raised in this case goes to the heart of our Republic.”

Pres. Trump's personal attorney Jay Sekulow after a federal appeals court upheld an earlier dismissal of a lawsuit filed by Pres. Trump to block a subpoena issued by the Manhattan District Attorney seeking 8 years of his tax returns from his accountants. The DA is investigating whether Pres. Trump's business falsified records. The case could potentially make its way to the U.S. Supreme Court.
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Quick Quotes

“You’re in space. I mean, you want to have the smell of cookies.”

Jordana Fichtenbaum who with her husband founded Zero G Kitchen - a company dedicated to providing kitchen appliances for space travel. The first Zero G Oven arrived to the International Space Station Monday. Astronauts have 5 frozen chocolate chip cookies they can attempt to bake, made of the same recipe used by Hilton's DoubleTree for its welcome cookies.
Quick Quotes

“Being a whistleblower is not a partisan job nor is impeachment an objective.”

Attorney Mark Zaid represents the whistleblower who sparked the impeachment inquiry into Pres. Trump. Zaid says the whistleblower offered to answer written questions by House Republicans under oath; Republicans allege the whistleblower has close ties to Democrats. Zaid says requests to disclose the identity threaten his client's safety and that of his/her family.
Quick Quotes

“I kind of think of him as a middle-of-the-road guy who just does his job.”

Dr. Otis Brawley who trained with Dr. Stephen Hahn, President Trump's pick to head the Food & Drug Administration. Specializing in cancer treatments, Dr. Hahn currently runs the world-renowned cancer center at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas. The Senate will need to confirm any pick for FDA; meanwhile, the agency grapples with controversies ranging from vaping to opioids.
Quick Quotes

“This was a mistake.”

McDonald's now-former CEO Steve Easterbrook upon stepping down from his position due to violating company policy through a consensual relationship with an employee. The world's largest fast food chain promoted the head of U.S. business to oversee the entire company.
Quick Quotes

“The U.S. position with respect to the Paris Agreement has not changed.”

State Dept spokesman James Dewey on the Trump admin's intentions to officially begin withdrawing from the Paris Climate Accord. The agreement, signed by 196 countries on Nov. 4, 2016, aims to address global warming by voluntary efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Pres. Trump announced his intentions to withdraw in 2017, but the agreement prohibits any country from withdrawing during the first three years.
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Coffee Talk

Your Top 3 Stories…in less than 5 minutes!

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The impeachment inquiry...the economy...and an email with Kayla Mueller's mother.

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Now You Know

SIC ‘EM!

The dog who chased down one of the world’s most wanted men has something science still can’t replicate: a killer sense of smell.

Now You Know

WHAT TO KNOW

  • A military working dog played a key role in the operation targeting the head of ISIS: Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
  • The Belgian Malinois chased the ISIS leader through underground caves, ultimately cornering him before the terrorist detonated an explosive vest.
  • Injured, but still alive, the dog remains “in theater” (deployed).
Now You Know

THE BREED

The military often works with a breed of dog called *Belgian Malinois* which look like a slightly smaller German Shepherd. Their size makes them easier to transport – even for skydiving.

Why: Strong, athletic, fierce and the more activity (like chasing down bad guys), the better. They are also extremely loyal and eager to please.

Now You Know

DOG’S BEST WEAPON

  • Arguably their smell – used to find people, landmines or bombs.
  • No robot or computer has replicated a dog’s sense of smell. In fact, scientists have yet to discover exactly how their sense of smell works!
  • New studies reveal dogs can even “smell” prostate cancer and Parkinson’s disease.
Now You Know

“A lot of our science and technology for years has been trying to replicate the work these dogs do. Their olfactory glands are 10,000 times more sensitive than any piece of equipment we’ve been able to develop. So the detection work they do, a dog finding explosives or drugs, that’s never going to be replaced.”

Major Matthew Kowalski, 341st Training Squadron commander, who oversees the military working dog program.
Now You Know

In the military, dogs outrank their handlers - as a way to show that they aren’t just a piece of equipment, but a teammate to be respected. Did you know you can adopt or foster a puppy in the military working dog program? Read more about how on our source page.

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Politics

THE LATEST

IMPEACHMENT INQUIRY

What to know ahead of Thursday’s procedural vote in the U.S. House of Representatives as we inch toward an impeachment outcome.

Politics

IMPEACHMENT 101

  • An impeachment proceeding looks like a criminal trial, but isn’t.
  • First, the House Judiciary Cmte. drafts “articles of impeachment” (charges); a simple majority is needed to impeach in the House.
  • Next, the Senate holds trial. A 2/3 supermajority is required for conviction (removal from office).
Politics

BACKGROUND

  • The House opened the inquiry after accusing Pres. Trump of violating campaign finance laws during a July call with Ukraine’s president by urging Ukraine to investigate fmr. VP Joe Biden while also withholding military aid.
  • Pres. Trump has denied the quid pro quo allegations, saying that he is obligated to investigate potential corruption.
Politics

WHO (LEADS INQUIRY)?

  • Led by U.S. House Intelligence Cmte Chair Adam Schiff (D-CA).
  • Involves six House cmtes (Financial Services, Foreign Affairs, Judiciary, Intelligence, Oversight, and Ways & Means).
  • Unlike the impeachment investigations into Pres. Clinton and Nixon, no independent prosecutor has been named by the AG to lead the inquiry (yet).
Politics

WHAT (HAS HAPPENED)?

Three House cmtes, with Democrats & Republicans, have heard from many witnesses including:

  • Fmr. White House aides
  • Career U.S. diplomats (including top Ambassador in Ukraine)
  • State Dept & Nat’l Security Council officials
Politics

WHERE (IT HAPPENS)

  • The impeachment inquiry has existed mostly in a secure room (Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility, or “SCIF”) at the U.S. Capitol.
  • A SCIF has secure walls, built to handle classified information. Those in the SCIF need a certain security clearance and cannot bring unauthorized cell phones or laptops.
Politics

“Democrats go 4+ weeks with a secretive, free for all, no rules impeachment process—and now try to save face with a short on substance resolution that only pretends to give the minority rights and blows up precedent.”

Congressman Mark Meadows (R-NC) on the impeachment inquiry process.
Politics

“This week, we’re voting to establish the format for open hearings that will be conducted as part of the impeachment inquiry. The American people will hear firsthand about the President’s misconduct.”

House Intel Chair Adam Schiff (D-CA) on a House vote to set the parameters of the impeachment inquiry, which will include public hearings.
Politics

BIGGER PICTURE

  • Thursday’s vote is about procedures going forward (public hearings, release of closed-door depositions transcripts, etc).
  • No word on when the House will hold a formal impeachment vote.
  • BOTTOM LINE: Even if the House (which has a Dem majority) votes for impeachment, it’s unlikely the Senate (which has a GOP majority) will vote for removal.
Politics

According to recent polling averages, 48% of Americans support impeachment and 43% do not.

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