27 Apr

Senate Committees Hold AHP Hearings

The Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship (SBC) and the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) each held hearings last week regarding Association Health Plans (AHPs) and the small business health care crisis. AHPs would enable small businesses to band together across state lines through bona fide trade and professional associations to purchase affordable health packages for themselves and their employees.

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06 Apr

Helping Mississippi Read

The state of Mississippi, while home to generations of literary giants, ranks at or close to last of all state literacy rates and the dollar amounts spent on each pupil in its public school system. High poverty levels and a lack of funding for remediation, materials, and teacher training all contribute to the critical problem.

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23 Mar

Reading Promotion Partners Meet in Washington for Idea Exchange

The Center for the Book

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08 Mar

NFIB Urges Small Businesses to Contact Lawmakers Re: AHPs

In February, legislation that would provide small businesses with access to greater health insurance options and lower premiums by allowing for the creation of Association Health Plans was introduced in both the House and Senate.

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23 Feb

Maine Senator Introduces Association Health Plan Legislation

On Wednesday, February 16, Senator Olympia Snowe (R-ME) introduced in the Senate "The Small Business Health Fairness Act of 2005" (S.406), which looks to "help small businesses access greater health insurance options and lower premiums" by allowing for the creation of Association Health Plans (AHP). The bill was co-sponsored by a bi-partisan group of 10 senators, including Senators Robert C. Byrd (D-WV) and John McCain (R-AZ). Following its introduction into the Senate, S.

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16 Feb

Reading Across America on March 2

For the eighth consecutive year, principals and teachers will offer to dye their hair green, be duct-taped to walls, or jump out of airplanes; all-star football players will wear silly, tall striped hats; and governors and mayors will issue proclamations, all to encourage children to pick up a book and read on March 2, the National Education Association's (NEA) Read Across America Day.

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03 Feb

Association Health Plan Legislation Reintroduced in the House

On Wednesday, February 2, Rep. Sam Johnson (R-TX) reintroduced in the U.S. House of Representatives "The Small Business Health Fairness Act" (H.R. 525), legislation that would allow for the creation of Association Health Plans (AHPs). AHPs would enable small businesses to band together across state lines through bona fide trade and professional associations to purchase affordable health packages for themselves and their employees.

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07 Oct

All Aboard for a Polar Express Prize Pack

The November 10 opening of Warner Brothers' animated adaptation of Chris Van Allsburg's classic Christmas tale, The Polar Express (Houghton Mifflin), starring Tom Hanks, is just over a month away.

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29 Sep

NEA's Reading at Risk Redux

By Robert Gray

In July, NEA chairman Dana Gioia announced the dismal results of a survey of America's reading habits, including the news that those people admitting to having read fiction, poetry, or plays had dipped to 46.7 percent in 2002, down from 54 percent the last time the survey was done in 1992.

A copy of the study still rests on my desk, taunting me.

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16 Sep

Polar Express Ride for Reading Delivers First Book to Children

The Polar Express, Chris Van Allsburg's Caldecott Medal-winning children's book, will hit the big screen this November 10 in an animated adaptation from Warner Bros., starring Tom Hanks.

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05 Aug

This October Brings an 'Orwellian' Nationwide Reading Event

In George Orwell's novel 1984 (Signet), one of Big Brother's most famous slogans is "War is Peace." And while Orwell's ominous, futuristic story was published 55 years ago, the "Rhetoricians for Peace," an independent activist group, believe that such Orwellian doublespeak has taken on special relevance these days.

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15 Jul

NEA's Reading at Risk Elicits Strong, Varied Responses

The results of a major survey on the state of reading in America were released last Thursday by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), and the organization termed its findings a "bleak assessment" and the news "dire." In his preface to Reading at Risk: A Survey of Literary Reading in America, NEA chairman Dana Gioia explained that the report's key findings could be summarized in one sentence: "Literary reading in America is not only declining rapidly among all groups, but the rate of decline has accelerated, especially among the young.&

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22 Sep

First Lady Joins GMA to Encourage Child Literacy

Since June 2002, ABC News' Good Morning America has been promoting the fun of reading to adults through its "Read This!" book club segment, which airs monthly. Now, the popular morning show has taken aim at children's literacy with the launch of Book Drive America, an effort to bring books to children, schools, libraries, and community centers in need across the country.

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22 Jul

Got Literacy? Study Reveals the Most Literate American Cities

This month, the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater (UWW) released a new study, "America's Most Literate Cities," which provides a literacy ranking of America's 64 largest cities. Topping the list was Minneapolis, with Seattle, Denver, Atlanta, and San Francisco rounding out the top five.

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08 May

California Tax Commission to Audit

At its April 23 meeting, California's State Board of Equalization (BOE) voted 3-2 to conduct a full-scale audit of to determine if the online retailer has nexus in the state of California. The vote came after the Board reaffirmed its September 12, 2002 decision that was obligated to pay California back use taxes for a period of four months -- from November 15, 1999 to March 31, 2000 -- because Barnes & Noble stores were offering coupons discounting purchases made at

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