California seeks to bring hightech to state government

first_img SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Gov. Gavin Newsom is looking for a leader interested in “breaking things, and making them better,” who prioritizes “openness” and “simplicity” and can “feed and sustain team energy and enthusiasm.”“While you think long-term, your bias for action ensures you gain traction quickly,” reads the job description for the head of California’s new Office of Digital Innovation.It sounds more like a job advertisement for a Silicon Valley startup than state government — and that’s the point. Newsom wants the $26 million, 50-person office to throw away the old playbook and find ways to be more user-friendly for the state’s 40 million residents when they do such things as seek benefits, start a business or renew a driver’s license.California government has tried to infuse innovation before.The state’s technology department runs a digital innovation academy and an innovation lab, and it issued guidelines to make state websites more usable last year. The Government Operations Agency, which will oversee the new office, already has a director of innovation and accountability. The health and human services agency has its own innovation office.“Only Sacramento can take innovation and make it more bureaucratic,” said Assemblyman Vince Fong, R-Bakersfield, who noted problems persist with the state’s technology, from the Department of Motor Vehicles to a new state accounting system.Even the DMV, which has been plagued by hours-long lines and other hang ups, already has a Newsom-appointed “strike team” focused on improving its operations. The agency is closing its offices statewide for a half-day in July for employee training.Members of the Newsom administration said the new office can bring a fresh perspective to state operations, ideally helping the state run more like a business. They want people to access state services with the ease of ordering a ride, a meal or nearly anything else with the tap of a smartphone.“In your everyday life you have these great interactions with business,” said Mike Wilkening, the governor’s special adviser on innovation and digital services. “They make it as seamless as possible for you to conduct business with them — and the state does not.”While there’s broad agreement that improvement is needed, some critics and supporters alike see potential for the new office to become just another layer of bureaucracy.“It’s going to be interesting to see how they organize those 50 people, how they ensure that they are not being redundant with what the other organizations are doing and how they integrate,” said Teri Takai, a former chief information officer for California who now runs the Center for Digital Government, a 20-year-old national research and advisory organization for best practices in state and local government. She was an adviser to Newsom’s transition team and advocated for the creation of the office.She said other states are initiating similar efforts, though not all with a full department like California is doing. Alaska and New Jersey, for example, recently hired chief innovation officers.Administration officials say the office would complement, not duplicate, existing state programs. An agency could, for example, bring a problem for the office to tackle, or the Newsom administration could request the office look into something specific.“The governor would have no lack of ideas on ways we can improve services to Californians,” said Brian Ferguson, a Newsom spokesman.Once it comes up with an idea, the office would kick back some of the work of making it happen to the state agency that brought the problem or to the California Department of Technology if the solution is one that could improve service statewide, said Amy Tong, the state’s chief information officer.“It’s complementary in the sense that the Department of Technology is still going to be very much focusing on statewide technology initiatives,” Tong said. “Digital innovation would focus more on the front-end planning and discovery work.”Brian Metzker studied the proposal for the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office and said the work the new office will do appears different from other state programs. But he noted its duties will evolve once a director is hired and the office gets up and running.“It will be important for lawmakers to keep an eye on the office to make sure it’s not offering competing or duplicative services as it gets to work,” he said.Fong, the Republican lawmaker, agreed government needs an overhaul, even as he questioned Newsom’s approach.“Tech has changed for the better everything in our daily lives, whether it’s from travel, from booking services that we use in our daily lives or buying groceries,” he said. But, “state government has lagged behind because all they do is create more red tape and bureaucracy.”Beyond the director, Newsom will appoint 19 other employees who will be exempt from civil service. Thirty others will be hired through the normal government process.Of the new office’s $26 million budget, $10 million would go into a fund it could tap to complete its work. The budget in following years would be $14 million. June 26, 2019 AP AP, Posted: June 26, 2019 California seeks to bring high-tech to state government Categories: California News, Local San Diego News, Politics FacebookTwitterlast_img read more

OBITUARY James Thayer Hastings 84

first_imgWILMINGTON, MA — James Thayer Hastings “Jim”, age 84, of Peabody, formerly a long-time resident of Wilmington, passed away peacefully on August 5, 2019, from complications of Parkinson’s Disease.Jim was born in Somerville, MA on August 15, 1934; he was the dear son of the late James L. and Helen Hastings. Jim was raised and educated in Somerville and Nashua, NH and was a graduate of Nashua High School. Jim went on to further his education at the University of New Hampshire where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Dairy Husbandry.Jim attended OCS in Newport, RI and in December of 1956 he was commissioned with rank of Ensign to active duty at Pearl Harbor, HI where he served for three years and was later promoted to Lt and became Aide to Admiral Buchanan at the Newport Naval Base in Newport, Rhode Island. Jim served the country for six years during the Vietnam Era and was released from active duty in February of 1962.On July 13, 1956, Jim married his sweetheart Virginia “Ginny” Eames; the couple lived in Pearl Harbor and Barber’s Point, HI, and Newport, RI, for several years before moving to Wilmington in 1962 where they raised four wonderful children; he was very proud of his family.After leaving the Service, Jim joined Buttricks Ice Cream in Arlington, MA where he managed the Ice Cream and Sandwich shops in the Boston/Arlington District. Jim became salesman for Sexton Foods, located in Canton, MA, and he finished his business career as a materials buyer at Charles River Laboratory in Wilmington. Upon retirement, Jim enjoyed many years of part-time work at Miller Landscaping.Outside of his professional career, Jim had many other interests. He was a member of the Greater Lowell Softball Umpire Association for 38 years, from 1975 to 2012. In addition to time spent on the field as an umpire, Jim donated much of his time working tournaments and running the food concessions on behalf of the Association, and he served as treasurer for many years. Jim was also an avid cyclist and regularly participated in the NH Seacoast Bike Trek, an annual charitable event for the American Lung Association. Jim also led many family bike trips, including trips to Nova Scotia, White Mountains, Cape Cod, and Martha’s Vineyard.Jim led his life by example and always made himself available to help others; for 53 years he was a member of the Masonic Friendship Lodge in Wilmington where he was always involved in helping others throughout the community in their time of need. He also was very active in the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society as well as the American Lung Association New Hampshire Chapter and raised countless dollars throughout the years at various fundraisers.Jim enjoyed spending time with his family; they loved to travel, to share holidays and special occasions, and to just “hang out” in his back yard “sports complex” that included a swimming pool, shuffle board, horse shoes, volleyball, croquet, bocce, badminton, basketball, and even a 9-hole mini-golf course that he personally designed and built. Jim especially looked forward to watching his children and grandchildren grow into the wonderful young adults that they have become.Jim will be remembered as a kind, energetic, and generous man who always went out of his way to help others in need; he had a wonderful sense of humor and will be forever missed by all who knew and loved him. Jim was the beloved husband of Virginia (Eames) Hastings, devoted father of Lynne Maxwell & husband Bob of North Attleboro, Gary Hastings & wife Heidi of North Reading, Leigh Bull & husband Keith of Wilmington, and the late Laurie O’Grady. Loving “Bampy” of Kim Proulx & husband Josh, Courtney Burke & husband Bill, Ryan Maxwell & wife Renee, Nathan Maxwell & fiancé Courtney Abate, Kyle Hastings, Jackson Hastings, Allie Hastings, and great-granddaughter Lexi Proulx. Devoted father-in-law of Kevin O’Grady & wife Lori and their daughter Shannon of Wilmington. Cherished son of the late James L. and Helen (Thayer) Hastings, dear brother of Betty Delisle and Barbara Carey both of New Hampshire. Jim is also survived by many nieces and nephews.Family and friends will gather for a Memorial Service at the Brooksby Village Chapel, 300 Brooksby Village Drive, Peabody on Friday, August 23rd at 1:00 p.m.In lieu of flowers, donations in Jim’s memory may be made to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Mass Chapter, 70 Walnut St., Suite 301, Wellesley, MA 02481 or to the American Lung Association Chapter of your choice.Arrangements are under the direction of Nichols Funeral Home, Wilmington.James Thayer Hastings(NOTE: The above obituary is from Nichols Funeral Home.)Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email wilmingtonapple@gmail.com.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedWilmington OBITUARIES (Week of August 11, 2019)In “Obituaries”OBITUARY: Steven W. Parker, 62In “Obituaries”OBITUARY: Lawrence “Mike” Considine, 63In “Obituaries”last_img read more

RBIs Reference Rate for Dollar Today

first_imgThe Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Wednesday fixed the reference rate for the US dollar at 50.5733 rupees and the euro 66.4959 rupees.The corresponding rates of dollar and euro for the previous day (March 6, 2012) were 50.0265 rupees and 66.0203 rupees respectively.Based on the reference rate for the US dollar and middle rates of the cross-currency quotes, the exchange rates of British pound as against the rupee is 79.5670 as against 79.3170 on the previous day (March 6, 2012) and that of Japanese yen is 62.63 as against 61.39 the previous day.last_img

Pandora Hires PR Vet Heidi AnneNoel

first_imgPandora announced today that it has named veteran music PR exec Heidi Anne-Noel as its new senior manager of communications. According to the announcement, in her new role she will oversee music communications strategy and outreach to the music press and music business community. She will be based in Pandora’s New York City offices.Anne-Noel joins Pandora from the independent publicity firm Press Here, where she worked with such artists as I’m With Her, Good Charlotte, Switchfoot and White Panda, among others. She also spent several years Capitol Records, where she rose to VP and was instrumental in Katy Perry’s rise. “Heidi Anne-Noel has been Katy Perry’s stellar publicist at Capitol Records ever since Katy signed there in 2007,” Perry manager Martin Kirkup said in 2014. “She is one of the finest PR people we have ever had the pleasure of working with.” While at Capitol she also worked with Capital Cities, Sky Ferreira, Anita Baker and others. ×Actors Reveal Their Favorite Disney PrincessesSeveral actors, like Daisy Ridley, Awkwafina, Jeff Goldblum and Gina Rodriguez, reveal their favorite Disney princesses. Rapunzel, Mulan, Ariel,Tiana, Sleeping Beauty and Jasmine all got some love from the Disney stars.More VideosVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9Next UpJennifer Lopez Shares How She Became a Mogul04:350.5x1x1.25×1.5x2xLive00:0002:1502:15 She got her start in the business at the esteemed music publicity firm Girlie Action, working with such artists as Fischerspooner, Peaches, The Faint, Rilo Kiley, Bjork, Marianne Faithfull, Good Charlotte and Kelly Osbourne.center_img Popular on Variety last_img read more

Google Wins FCC Approval to Keep Developing RadarBased Hand Sensor

first_img Hear from Polar Explorers, ultra marathoners, authors, artists and a range of other unique personalities to better understand the traits that make excellence possible. 1 min read This story originally appeared on Engadget Google’s Advanced Technology and Projects (ATAP) team has been working on Project Soli since 2015. The gesture-based system uses broad beam radar to detect and capture hand movements, turning them into commands for mobile devices. Until now, though, the tech has been restricted, with some companies — including Facebook — claiming that the high frequency levels required might interfere with existing technology. Now, the FCC has granted a waiver that will allow Soli to operate at higher levels than currently allowed, and therefore continue development as Google originally intended.Related: What’s Happening on The Entrepreneur Index Right NowAccording to the FCC, Soli poses “minimal potential of causing harmful interference,” and it’s even been cleared for use on aircraft. Increasing Soli’s frequency band and power level — which Google says is consistent with European Telecommunications Standards Institute guidance — will improve the tech’s accuracy and range of applications, which at this stage focus on the virtual control of devices such as smart watches, but could in the future bring significant benefits for users with mobility, speech and tactile impairments. January 2, 2019 How Success Happens Listen Nowlast_img read more

North Staffordshire road closed due to accident

first_imgWant to keep up to date with the latest traffic and travel news?Each day Stoke-on-Trent Live journalists bring you the latest news on the roads and railways across Stoke-on-Trent, North Staffordshire, South Cheshire and further afield to help keep you on the move. For the very latest updates on roads including the M6, A500, A50 and more, visit our dedicated traffic and travel news channel here. We also run a live news feed each weekday, which you can access on our website’s homepage from 7am to 9pm from Monday to Friday. And for more as-we-get-it updates on the roads across the region and beyond, join The Sentinel’s traffic and travel Facebook group here. The location of the road closure (Image: Inrix) Get the biggest Daily stories by emailSubscribeSee our privacy noticeThank you for subscribingSee our privacy noticeCould not subscribe, try again laterInvalid EmailUpdate – a man has now been arrested following this accident. More here. A North Staffordshire road is closed following an accident this evening. Traffic data company Inrix reports the B5367 Blackbank Road/High Street is shut in both directions High Lane and Oak Road. The road runs between Knutton and Alsagers Bank in Newcastle Borough (see map below). Inrix reports the accident took place at around 9.45pm tonight. Police and firefighters are reported to be at the scene, one eyewitness has told Stoke-on-Trent Live. We have no further information on the nature of this accident at this stage. We will bring you more information as we get it. For the latest news and other information from across North Staffordshire and South Cheshire, visit our website here. Read MoreDrugs and cash seized after police raidlast_img read more

Sunwings Springventory sale All vacations must go

first_imgSunwing’s ‘Spring-ventory’ sale: “All vacations must go” TORONTO — Sunwing is doing some spring cleaning with a half-price clearance sale on select vacations across the Caribbean, Mexico and Central America.The ‘Spring-ventory’ sale runs until April 27 for departures between now and June. “All vacations must go”, says the company, so clients keen on getting a head start on summer should book now while deals last.Top-rated resorts included in the sale include the family-friendly Riu Dunamar in Playa Mujeres, Mexico. A stunning beachfront property that offers varied accommodation options including rooms that fit five, this new resort features all-day entertainment, land and watersport activities like kayaking and snorkelling, and unlimited access to the on-site Splash Water Park. Plus, guests enjoy exclusive RIU-topia inclusions such as unlimited à la carte dining, spa discounts and more.Also included in the sale is the top-rated adults only resort, Riu Republica in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. Featuring the only adults-only waterpark in the Caribbean, this all-inclusive property boasts eight pools, a Jacuzzi, wellness centre and nine restaurants.More news:  Sunwing ready to launch Mazatlán-Quebec City direct this winterThere’s also the Grand Memories Varadero in Cuba, situated right on the beach. Amenities include two pools, kids club with supervised activities, snorkelling, beach volleyball, windsurfing and evening entertainment.For more go to sunwing.ca. Tags: Sunwing Posted by Travelweek Group center_img << Previous PostNext Post >> Share Monday, April 23, 2018 last_img read more