Friday, January 6, 2006

Griffin Sworn In at EEOC

The bipartisan Equal Employment Opportunity Commission returned this week to full strength for the first time in 17 months with the swearing-in Tuesday of Christine M. Griffin as a commissioner on the five-member panel.

Griffin, the former executive director of the nonprofit Disability Law Center of Massachusetts, will serve the final three years of an unexpired five-year term that ends in July 2009 and will be paid $143,000 a year. She fills the seat vacated by Paul Steven Miller in August 2004, when he resigned after a decade of service to become a professor at the University of Washington School of Law.

The EEOC is responsible for enforcing laws against employment discrimination based on race, sex, religion, age and disability. President Bush nominated Griffin, a Boston native, on July 28 last year. The Senate unanimously confirmed her on Nov. 4, but Griffin needed time to finish up her previous job and relocate to Washington.

The month of her nomination, Griffin, who uses a wheelchair, called attention to illegal treatment by a private bus company that denied her a seat on its Boston-New York service because, company officials said, its one handicapped-accessible bus was unavailable. Disabled-access is a legal requirement.

Podcasts on Drug War

Bored by those thousands of songs stored in your iPod? Been wondering about the latest developments in the United States' war on drugs? Well, the White House has a deal for you.

The Office of National Drug Control Policy this week began a "podcasting" service that will allow users of iPods and other personal audio players to periodically download "speeches, events, interviews and the latest information regarding national efforts to reduce drug use in America."

"President Bush and I know that most of the work to reduce the harms drugs cause to our society is done at the local level," John P. Walters, director of the office, said in a written statement. "We hope that by providing relevant and timely information via this new technology, more people will join us in educating our fellow citizens regarding the destructive effects of drugs."

Users can gain access to the free service at .

-- Christopher Lee

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