Court: NYTimes’s Request for New York City Gun Owners Violates Law

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A New York appellate court has ruled that the New York Times‘s request for a list of gun owners in New York City, under the Freedom of Information Law, violates the state’s statute. The ruling overturns in part a lower court’s ruling.

“Order and judgment (one paper), Supreme Court, New York County (Jane S. Solomon, J.), entered November 1, 2011, granting the petition to the extent it sought an order directing respondent, under the Freedom of Information Law (Public Officers Law § 84 et seq.) (FOIL), to provide an electronic copy of a database, as redacted, of names and addresses of New York City residents who have been granted handgun licenses, and a database, to be redacted, of hate crimes reported to respondent from January 1, 2005 to the present, and denying the petition to the extent it sought an order directing respondent to provide an electronic copy of its crime incident database, a declaration that respondent’s practices in responding to FOIL requests violate the statute, and an order directing respondent to cease these practices, unanimously modified, on the law, to deny the petition as to the databases of handgun licensees and hate crimes and to reinstate the petition with respect to the demand for the crime incident database, insofar as it seeks production of the electronic crime incident database produced in Floyd v City of New York (08 Civ 01034 [SAS] [US Dist Ct, SD NY]) (the Floyd database), and the matter remitted to Supreme Court for a determination of whether production of the Floyd database should be ordered, and, if so, to what extent and under what conditions, and otherwise affirmed, without costs,” reads the ruling.

The appellate court rules that a lower court erred by ordering the release of “the home addresses of handgun licensees in electronic form.” “The court erred in ordering respondent to release the home addresses of handgun licensees in electronic form. The fact that Penal Law § 400.00(5) makes the name and address of a handgun license holder “a public record” is not dispositive of whether respondent can assert the privacy and safety exemptions to FOIL disclosure, especially when petitioners seek the names and addresses in electronic form (see Matter of New York State Rifle & Pistol Assn., Inc. v Kelly, 55 AD3d 222, 226 [1st Dept 2008]). In addition, “[d]isclosing a person’s home address implicates a heightened privacy concern” (Matter of New York State United Teachers v Brighter Choice Charter School, 64 AD3d 1130, 1132 [3d Dept 2009], citing, inter alia, Public Officers Law § 89[7], revd on other grounds 15 NY3d 560 [2010]).”

The ruling adds, “However, the Floyd database was produced in an unrelated federal action, governed by very different standards from those that govern public access to records under FOIL (see Svaigsen v City of New York, 203 AD2d 32 [1st Dept 1994]). Further, the database was produced pursuant to strict confidentiality requirements, which indicates that disclosure to the [*4]general public would, at a minimum, raise serious confidentiality and privacy concerns. Accordingly, we remand to Supreme Court to determine whether the Floyd database should be released, and if so, under what conditions.”

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Seven million will lose insurance under Obama health law

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Premiums set to rise this year in run-up to ObamaCare tax on insurance industry

President Obama’s health care law will push 7 million people out of their job-based insurance coverage — nearly twice the previous estimate, according to the latest estimates from the Congressional Budget Office released Tuesday.

CBO said that this year’s tax cuts have changed the incentives for businesses and made it less attractive to pay for insurance, meaning fewer will decide to do so. Instead, they’ll choose to pay a penalty to the government, totaling $13 billion in higher fees over the next decade.

But the non-partisan agency also expects fewer people to have to pay individual penalties to the IRS than it earlier projects, because of a better method for calculating incomes that found more people will be exempt.

Overall, the new health provisions are expected to cost the government $1.165 trillion over the next decade — the same as last year’s projection.

With other spending cuts and tax increases called for in the health law, though, CBO still says Mr. Obama’s signature achievement will reduce budget deficits in the short term.

During the health care debate Mr. Obama had said individuals would be able to keep their plans.

High school teacher suspended for ‘fat butt Michelle Obama’ remark

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Folks, what has happened to the 1st amendment in this country?

Alabama high school psychology teacher Bob Grisham has been suspended for 10 days without pay for a rant that included calling the first lady “fat butt Michelle Obama.” A student in Grisham’s class made an audio recording of the remarks, which also included derogatory comments about gays.

Grisham’s suspension from Lauderdale County High School begins on Tuesday, and he has been barred from teaching his class for the rest of the school year and ordered to attend sensitivity training. Also the school’s head football coach, he will be assigned “other academic duties” for the rest of the year in place of teaching his class, according to Lauderdale County Superintendent Jennifer Gray.

Grisham will also have to meet monthly with Mark Butler, the school system’s personnel director, to make sure he is meeting his requirements. Grisham’s coaching job was not addressed at the Board of Education meeting on Monday night that decided his punishment for the remarks, Butler told TODAY.com.

During a debate-type discussion about current affairs in his class on Jan. 27, Grisham blamed the school’s low-calorie lunch offerings on “fat butt Michelle Obama.’’ He also added, “Look at her. She looks like she weighs 185 or 190. She’s overweight.’’

In that same class, he also voiced his disdain for homosexuals.

“I don’t believe in queers,’’ he said. “I don’t like queers. I don’t hate them as a person, but what they do is wrong and an abomination against God.’’

Grisham told Florence, Alabama’s Times Daily last week that he misspoke during the debate in his class.

“We are profoundly disappointed in the actions and statements of Mr. Grisham,’’ Gray said in a statement. “The Board has taken actions specifically calculated to prevent such actions and statements from being made again. The Board hopes that this will serve as learning opportunity that all can move forward in a positive and productive manner.’’

Grisham’s comments about the First Lady’s posterior are the latest in a string of negative mentions. Rush Limbaugh, the conservative radio host, has called her Michelle “My Butt’’ Obama, and Rep. F. James Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) was heard saying “she lectures us on eating right while she has a large posterior herself.’’ The Atlantic also ran a story in December 2011 titled, “Why Fat Conservatives Love Calling Michelle Obama Fat” in which it labeled calling the First Lady fat one of the right wing’s “top political memes.’’

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Gun control advocates first skewer wavering Dems to solidify support

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So it your a Democrat and don’t support the Obama gun control legislation, your about to feel the pressure from your own party to support it or else.

Gun control advocates are corralling votes by trying to make life miserable for Democrats they think are too cozy with the National Rifle Association.

The advocates are bankrolling a series of ads that attack Democrats wary of new restrictions as the first phase of a two-part strategy intended to help the party enact President Obama’s gun proposals.

“The first aim is to make it a liability for any Democrats to be associated with the NRA,” said a Democratic strategist who promotes tougher gun laws but wanted to remain anonymous due to the political sensitivity of the issue. “It’s sort of an order of operation. You’ve got to hold the line on your own guys first.”

While gun control supporters see Republican opposition to new restrictions as the highest hurdle confronting Obama’s reform wish list, they believe they must unite Democrats behind those proposed reforms in the early stages of the debate to build momentum — as well as pressure on the GOP.

The Democratic strategist compared the campaign to the efforts of anti-tax groups like Grover Norquist’s Americans for Tax Reform, which have been largely successful in rallying Republicans against new taxes, with a plan to use that united front to pressure Democrats to take the same position.

“Think about that happening the other way,” the strategist said.

“There didn’t used to be a penalty for being an anti-public-safety Democrat,” the strategist added. “Now there is.”

The urgency from gun-control advocates comes as Obama applied pressure in his own way on Monday, taking the issue on the road for the first time.

Policy Change To Chicago 911 Dispatch: Cops Will Only Report In-Person To Certain Crime Scenes

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But your not allowed to legally own a gun in Chicago.

Police Car

Chicago, IL – As of Sunday, 911 Chicago dispatch will no longer be directing officers to every scene of a crime. Instead, officers will be assigned to “light duty” by taking reports over the phone for crimes like vehicle theft, garage burglaries, bad checks, and situations of lewd or obscene calls where the victim is not in immediate danger. Nearly 74,000 reports were taken last year in this manner.

This policy eliminates in-person police responses to various non-life threatening crime scenes. Essentially, unless there is an urgent need for medical attention or imminent danger present, don’t expect an offer to arrive in-person to assist.

The revamped 911 dispatch policy ties into the city’s initiative of freeing up officers so they can focus on more serious offenses, having a better response time for burglaries, assaults, and gang and drug related violence and crime.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel recently announced a separate plan to shift 200 officers from desk duty to patrol work in a similar effort of allowing officers to focus more on serious crimes and less on paperwork.

According to Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy:

“Clerks should be doing clerical work, not cops.”

As for the new dispatch procedure, one officer feels that responding to every case of civil unrest such as dogs barking or loud music and bouncing from call to call is a tedious drain on resources.

McCarthy expressed a similar notion regarding less than serious calls officers receive frequently:

“I’m not joking when I tell you that we’ve handled calls that say ‘my children are fighting over the remote control.’ Or ‘my daughter does not want to go to school. My son does not want to eat his mashed potatoes.’ Those are the types of calls for service quite frankly where I don’t know why we would tie up a police officer when that officer can be on patrol doing something affirmative, preventing something from happening.”

Do you think a change in 911 policies will help regulate the crime more efficiently? Have you ever known someone to call 911 over something not crime related or irrelevant?

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