Friday, February 22, 2008

Happy Birthday George Washington

As the political campaigns heat up, today is a good time to reflect on the life of our first president, George Washington, born Feb. 22, 1732. The events of his presidency are reflected in the George Washington Papers at the Library of Congress 1741-1799 and in the University of Virginia's The Papers of George Washington. A time line of important happenings in the lives of George and Martha Washington is available from the American Memory collection of the Library of Congress. Views of their Mount Vernon estate and gardens are posted online by the Mount Vernon Ladies' Association, a private, non-profit organization founded in 1853.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

State Legislation About Immigration

The National Conference of State Legislatures has released a report entitled 2007 Enacted State Legislation Related to Immigrants and Immigration. It includes a chart showing that all but nine states enacted some kind of immigration legislation in 2007. It covers legislation from the following main topics: education, employment, health, human trafficking, ID/driver's licenses/other licenses, law enforcement, legal services, miscellaneous, comprehensive measures, public benefits, voting, and resolutions. Under each topic is a list of states that have passed legislation related to that topic as well as a brief description of the legislation.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Early Voting - March 4 Primary Elections

Early voting for the March 4, 2008 Democratic and Republican Primary Election for residents of Harris County is available from Feb. 19 - Feb. 29. An early voting schedule/map detailing times and locations and early voting questions/answers are available from Harris Votes (click on the Voting Information tab at the top far left). Another choice available from the Voting Information tab is "Find your voting information." After selecting a party, you can enter one of three things (your precinct, your address, or your name and address) to display your election day polling address and to view a sample ballot. Finally, if you are not sure you are registered to vote, check the Harris County Voter Registration Database and read the directions carefully.

To help you make informed choices, the Houston Area League of Women Voters has created a Voter's Guide for the March 4 primary elections.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

To Take or not to Take - Ask TSA

Are you nervous when you fly that the TSA (Transportation Security Administration) will pull you aside for trying to bring something illegal on the plane? The guide on the TSA Web page has been helpful, but many people have additional questions that are not covered on that page. The TSA has now started a blog that addresses a wide range of topics from rumors about electronics to why searching military personnel is necessary to qualifications for being a TSA officer. It's a good site to check before your next flight.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

FAFSA Deadline Approaching

If you would like to apply for financial aid for college, a good place to start is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Although this is the federal application for financial aid, it is also used to apply for aid from states and schools. Prospective Rice University students should consult the Student Financial Services calendar about FAFSA deadlines for early admission (March 1, 2008) and regular admission candidates (March 1, 2008).

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

FY 2009 Budget of the United States Government

The Budget of the United States Government, Fiscal Year 2009 is now available online from the United States Government Printing Office (GPO). The budget is a collection of documents containing the President's budget message, information about the President's budget proposals for a given fiscal year, and other budgetary publications that have been issued throughout the fiscal year. Supporting documents such as the Economic Report of the President are also included. For the first time GPO and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) have worked together to create a digitally signed and certified PDF (Portable Document Format) to assure users of the authenticity of the electronic PDF documents. Tables in the budget can be downloaded as PDFs or as spreadsheets in xls and comma delimited formats.

Paper and CD-ROM copies of the budget will be distributed this month to depository libraries and are also available for purchase from the U.S. Government Online Bookstore.