Route Fifty: Covid-Certified Businesses Try to Woo Leery Patrons. “At a time when officials in parts of the nation are facing backlash from business owners who have been hurt by covid restrictions, Mesa County [Colorado]’s 5-star program encourages them to partner with the local health department to promote the directives. Whether the approach boosts compliance with health directives remains to be seen. This largely rural county of 154,000 people on the Utah border is divided about covid protocols, with many still skeptical of wearing face coverings.”
BBC: Entire school board resigns after accidental public livestream. “An entire California school board has resigned after making disparaging remarks about families in an online meeting which they did not realise was being publicly live-streamed.” If you have this much contempt for your constituents, why are you an elected official? Go pound sand.
New Yorker: The Rural Alaskan Towns Leading the Country in Vaccine Distribution. “In Sitka, the small Alaskan town where I live, fifteen hundred people—out of a total population of eight thousand—have already received second doses. We’re on track to complete vaccinations this spring. In many rural towns throughout the state, it is the tribal health organizations, not the state government, that are in charge of vaccine distribution.”
AP: Virus outbreaks stoke tensions in some state capitols. “After only their first few weeks of work, tensions already are high among lawmakers meeting in-person at some state capitols — not because of testy debates over taxes, guns or abortion, but because of a disregard for coronavirus precautions.”
New York Times: Short of Vaccine, States Find Hidden Stashes in Their Own Backyards. “When tiny glass vials of coronavirus vaccine began rolling off production lines late last year, federal health officials set aside a big stash for nursing homes being ravaged by the virus. Health providers around the country figured as well that it was prudent to squirrel away vials to ensure that everyone who got a first dose of vaccine got a second one. Two months later, it is clear both strategies went overboard.”
Washington Post: Iowa’s House speaker said he can’t make lawmakers wear masks — but he did enforce a ban on jeans
Washington Post: Iowa’s House speaker said he can’t make lawmakers wear masks — but he did enforce a ban on jeans. “Iowa House Speaker Pat Grassley (R) has repeatedly pushed back against imposing a mask mandate inside the legislature, saying that he cannot force lawmakers to cover their faces — just as he cannot stop someone from voting on the House floor in their bathing suit. But when one Democratic lawmaker attempted to speak during a floor debate on Tuesday — not in a bikini or one-piece but in jeans — Grassley called her out for violating the chamber’s dress code.”
Techdirt: Hacked Florida Water Plant Found To Have Been Using Unsupported Windows 7 Machines And Shared Passwords
Techdirt: Hacked Florida Water Plant Found To Have Been Using Unsupported Windows 7 Machines And Shared Passwords. “If you’re not in the IT space, this is base level stuff. Have your computer systems on operating systems that are under active support and are being patched. That is doubly so for any systems that are critical, or which have access to critical systems. And to not have any client security, such as a local software firewall, on such a machine is IT malpractice. On top of the above, it appears that TeamViewer hadn’t been actively used by the staff there for nearly six months.”
Washington Post: Philadelphia let ‘college kids’ distribute vaccines. The result was a ‘disaster,’ volunteers say.
Bloomberg: Tech Glitches, Swamped Websites Impede U.S. Vaccine Rollout. “Across the U.S., a vaccination campaign that was meant to reverse the tide of the pandemic and spur the nation’s economic recovery is getting bogged down by technical glitches and software woes. Cash-strapped public health departments are trying to keep their websites from crashing while booking millions of appointments, tracking unpredictable inventory, and logging how many shots they give. The situation unfolding across the U.S., home to technology giants, is frustrating a public eager for the inoculations. Further, gaps in the data could be distorting the national picture of how efficiently vaccines are being used, if some number of doses that are administered don’t get counted.”
Voice of San Diego: Chula Vista Police Chief Says She Didn’t Know Department Shared Data With Feds. “Chula Vista Police Chief Roxana Kennedy did not know that her own department shared license plate reader data with federal immigration officials for the last three years. Apparently, when the police department entered into an agreement with Vigilant Solutions to use its database back in December 2017, someone simply clicked a ‘share all’ button. The police chief said she just recently learned that Immigration and Customs Enforcement or Customs and Border Protection were part of the more than 800 law enforcement agencies that were given access to Chula Vista’s data.”
InfoSecurity Magazine: Cook County Leaks 320,000 Court Records. “Over 320,000 court records belonging to the second most populous county in the US have been discovered sitting on a misconfigured online database. Security researcher Jeremiah Fowler and a team from Website Planet soon found that the data was all from Cook County, Illinois, which is home to America’s third-largest city, Chicago.”
Portland Press Herald: Our View: Fees are too high for Maine electronic court records. “Someone visiting a courthouse can read as many pages in the court files as they wish without any charge. If they want to copy any of the pages, they are charged $1 a page. The electronic records cannot be viewed without paying the fee, $2 for the first page and $1 per page after that. And even though the copying fee is steep, it more closely approaches the real cost of a public employee photocopying a document and processing payment. No human assistance is necessary for someone who wants to access an electronic record.”
Route Fifty: Ski Patrol Before Teachers? States Criticized Over Vaccine Timelines. “As states begin to make coronavirus vaccines available to broader segments of the public, health officials have had to make difficult choices about who should be next in line. And state leaders are facing pushback over determinations that certain occupations or medical conditions will be eligible before others.”
KMTV: Nebraska lawmakers now accepting online comments about bills. “Nebraska lawmakers have created a new way for the public to comment on proposals without attending a hearing in person. The Legislature unveiled a new website feature that will let people submit online comments at any stage in the process. It was introduced to help encourage social distancing during the coronavirus pandemic and reduce the size of in-person legislative hearings.”