The Roundup: Stories and Events of Note

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Because I haven't posted a lot lately (getting ready for some new classes starting soon), I'll quickly mention some news articles and events of note that I found interesting.  
  1. The Inauguration of President Barack Obama:  Like other inaugurations, I didn't watch this one.  Why?  Because it's a show full of pomp and circumstance, with no real action at all.  For me it's the actions of the administration, and not the actions at the inauguration that makes the difference.  I'm interested in the success of President Obama because it means success to the nation.  Now that he's at work I'm ready for the events. 
  2. GovTrack.us:  I've finally signed up to GovTrack.us to track the happenings of the US Legislature.  It's amazing what goes on in the House, as I get updates every day on the new bills that are presented, and who presented them.  I also track the Senate, which so far has accomplished little other than forming leadership and committees.  The House, on the other hand, has been quite busy with various bills that seem rather trivial.  I didn't realize the detail House Bills got into, nor the amount of time dedicated to minor matters.  It will be even more interesting to see how the Legislature moves forward in the coming months.  
  3. Autism on Top of Healthcare List:  President Obama has listed Autism as his top concern for Healthcare research in his administration.  Cancer and AIDS didn't even get a mention, but Autism was mentioned specifically.  I am surprised (pleasantly, of course) that such a course was taken.  I'm currently following the Administration's official blog at Whitehouse.gov (not .com).  The bullet points are well chosen, particularly when it comes to screening.  The cost of screening will be covered, and it will be mandatory for all children to go through the screening process.  Hopefully this will make the screening process part of the covered screenings provided by health insurance.  
  4. Salt Lake has been named as the area with the most polluted air in the United States.  The cause is actually the inversion process that happens to all nestled cities in the Mountains.  The warm air above creates a cap on the cold air below, which has no place to move.  This causes health risks with the trapped air, until a nice storm moves in to blow the gunk out of the air (yes, gunk is a technical term ^_^).  Today a storm is moving in, and should have the majority of the air cleared out by tomorrow.  Thank goodness!  
  5. Utah Legislature to Cut Autism Preschool Funding:  Yes, the Legislature in their infinite wisdom has felt the need to slash education yet again, and this time for children that desperately need it.  While this should not effect public preschools managed by the individual school districts, it will effect specialist schools that provide the best care for those children who cannot be mainstreamed well.  It's a slap in the face of every parent who needs to find more affordable schooling for their autistic child.  My sincere hope is that the Utah Legislature rethinks this policy, even if it means cutting a little more into another budget.  I can tell you that if my State House Representative or Senator were to vote to kill this funding, they would not get my vote again.
So that's about it.  I know there is a lot more going on in the world, but that is what has effected my little corner of the planet.  Hopefully I will have more information about the points regarding Autism that the new Administration would like to accomplish, such as more concrete timelines (as they are developed), and any evidence on the House floor that such moves are being made.