November 16, 2008

No Texting While Driving

“When you see accidents that have happened or you hear about near-misses, it is just a step we can take to ensure the safety of our citizens.”

—Austin, Texas, City Councilman Mike Martinez says he has received dozens of calls in recent months from motorists, pedestrians and bicyclists asking for a law banning text messaging while driving. Such a ban is being explored by city officials, according to an Associated Press report. The city of Austin’s public safety task force has approved a resolution asking City Manager Marc Ott and his staff to develop a proposal, vet it and bring it back to the city council for consideration. Under the resolution, motorists would be required to use hands-free devices.

Case Closed?

“I once again apologize for my actions, and for the pain and disappointment those actions caused my family and the many people who supported me during my career in public life.”

—Former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer, commenting on a decision by federal prosecutors not to pursue criminal charges against him for his involvement in a prostitution ring. Spitzer, who stepped down in March following revelations of his jaunts with $1,000-an-hour prostitute, acknowledged his participation in the sex ring for the first time. As New York’s Attorney General, Spitzer relentlessly pursued investigations of alleged bid rigging and questionable contingent commissions at brokers Marsh & McLennan, Aon Corp. and Willis Group Holdings. His investigations are also credited with forcing Maurice “Hank” Greenberg out of his roles as chairman and chief executive officer of American International Group.

The First Priority

“With the creation of this new initiative, we are sending a strong message to Louisiana businesses that they are our first priority, not our second priority, in economic development.”

—Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal says that the Louisiana Department of Economic Development is creating a Business Retention and Expansion (BRE) Group that will focus solely on addressing the challenges and opportunities of Louisiana’s existing employers. Initially consisting of three new full-time staff members, the BRE Group will proactively develop and maintain close relationships with Louisiana’s top employers and will aggressively manage business retention and expansion projects. It also will partner with regional and local economic development organizations, as well as small business development centers, to develop a comprehensive business retention and expansion program for small- and medium-sized businesses.

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