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Federal Eye: April 4, 2010 - April 10, 2010

Mines avoid crackdowns by challenging safety citations

A surge in the number of challenges to mine safety citations has clogged a federal appeals process, allowing 32 coal mines to avoid tougher enforcement measures last year, government safety officials said Friday.

By Ed O'Keefe  | April 10, 2010; 12:56 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Agencies and Departments, From The Pages of The Post  | Tags:  Coal mining, Government, Martin County sludge spill, Massey Energy, Mine Safety and Health Administration, Mining, Technology, West Virginia  
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Fish and Wildlife Service memorializes its late director, Sam Hamilton

A bald eagle flew through the assembled crowd at the Interior Department's Sidney Yates auditorium Friday morning, marking the unconventional start to a memorial honoring the late director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Sam Hamilton.

By Juliet Eilperin  | April 9, 2010; 2:20 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Agencies and Departments  | Tags:  Film director, Fish, Interior Department, Sam Hamilton, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, United States, United States Department of the Interior, United States Fish and Wildlife Service  
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Friday Feedback: Mine safety; Karl Rove and the Census; teleworking

A sampling of some of the comments from this week's most popular Federal Eye items. The thoughts expressed below do not represent the views of The Federal Eye or The Washington Post: Regarding MSHA's regulatory powers... We tried the conservative...

By Ed O'Keefe  | April 9, 2010; 12:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  About the Blog  | Tags:  Bureau of Labor Statistics, Census Bureau, Karl Rove, New Year, Public service announcement, United States, United States Census Bureau, Washington  
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Some Census humor on a Friday...

Enjoy this "Saturday Night Live" classic starring Tim Meadows and (the best SNL host ever?) Christopher Walken.

By Ed O'Keefe  | April 9, 2010; 10:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Census  
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W.Va. mine has years of serious violations, officials say

The U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration has ordered the evacuation of miners from parts of the Upper Big Branch coal mine 64 times since the beginning of 2009 because of safety violations, but federal regulators said the mine did not show the "pattern of violation" that would have allowed them to take harsher measures.

By Ed O'Keefe  | April 9, 2010; 9:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Agencies and Departments  
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Eye Opener: Will new tool cut federal hiring time?

The Federal Eye gets mail and hears from plenty of readers. One of the most commonly heard complaints is that the federal job application process is too long and confusing.

By Ed O'Keefe  | April 9, 2010; 6:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (10)
Categories:  Eye Opener, Workplace Issues  | Tags:  Business, Federal government, Federal government of the United States, Government, John Berry, Office of Personnel Management, United States, United States Office of Personnel Management  
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SEIU blasts Obama immigration enforcement

One of the nation's biggest labor unions, a major backer of President Obama, is condemning his Department of Homeland Security's immigration enforcement practices, protesting the use of deportation quotas for agents and expanded workplace audits.

By Ed O'Keefe  | April 8, 2010; 5:24 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
Categories:  Administration, Agencies and Departments  | Tags:  Department of Homeland Security, Eliseo Medina, Los Angeles, SEIU, San Francisco, Service Employees International Union, Trade union, United States  
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Linda Douglass leaving White House

By The Post's Howard Kurtz in our 44 blog: Linda Douglass, the network TV correspondent who became a top pitchwoman for President Obama's health care plan, is leaving the White House. She sounds like she needs a break; her last...

By Ed O'Keefe  | April 8, 2010; 2:35 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Administration, Revolving Door  
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Feds urged to telework during nuclear summit

Officials are urging nonessential federal workers who work in downtown Washington to take leave, telework or work at an alternate site in the suburbs Monday and Tuesday when President Obama's big nuclear safety summit is expected to tie up downtown traffic.

By Ed O'Keefe  | April 8, 2010; 8:35 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Workplace Issues  
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Eye Opener: Does MSHA need more muscle?

As rescuers prepare to enter West Virginia's Upper Big Branch Mine and investigators prepare to probe the cause of Monday's blast, attention is beginning to focus on whether the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration did everything in its power to help avoid the disaster.

By Ed O'Keefe  | April 8, 2010; 7:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (44)
Categories:  Agencies and Departments, Eye Opener  
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Federal government gets Web 2.0 guidance

It will soon be much easier to interact with the federal government, through tweets, blogs and wikis, without forcing agencies to jump through procedural hoops that were set up by the Paperwork Reduction Act.

By Ed O'Keefe  | April 7, 2010; 7:01 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Administration  | Tags:  Blog, Business, Federal government of the United States, Government, Paperwork Reduction Act, Social Media, Wiki  
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Mine blast probe 'weeks and probably months'

The federal investigation into Monday's deadly West Virginia mine blast will be "a matter of weeks and probably months," the government's top mine safety inspector said Wednesday.

By Ed O'Keefe  | April 7, 2010; 12:01 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Agencies and Departments  
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Eye Opener: Learning how to drive a mail truck

Ever wondered what it's like driving on the right hand side of a mail truck? The Federal Eye has wondered since he was a kid and recently got a chance to try it out.

By Ed O'Keefe  | April 7, 2010; 6:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Eye On..., Eye Opener, Video Report  
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West Virginia mine cited for myriad safety violations

The West Virginia mine where at least 25 workers died Monday in an explosion was written up more than 50 times last month for safety violations, including seven times for failing to follow and maintain a mine-ventilation plan.

By Ed O'Keefe  | April 6, 2010; 11:11 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Agencies and Departments  
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Mine safety cited for backlog, lax training

The federal government's mine safety agency is not properly tracking the retraining of its veteran inspectors and is facing a mounting backlog of appeals of health and safety violations from mining companies, according to concerned government auditors and lawmakers.

By Ed O'Keefe  | April 6, 2010; 10:26 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Agencies and Departments, From The Pages of The Post  | Tags:  Coal mining, Mine Safety and Health Administration, Mining, Mining accident, Occupational safety and health, United States, West Virginia  
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Solis thanks mine safety workers

Labor Secretary Hilda Solis e-mailed MSHA workers Tuesday morning to thank them for their response to Monday's deadly mine blast in West Virginia.

By Ed O'Keefe  | April 6, 2010; 1:27 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Agencies and Departments  | Tags:  Federal government of the United States, Hilda Solis, Labor Department, Mine Safety and Health Administration, Seattle, United States, United States Department of Labor, West Virginia  
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Why did some households get more census forms?

The Federal Eye has heard from several readers and colleagues concerned that they received another census questionnaire in the mail late last week even though they already filled one out and sent it back.

By Ed O'Keefe  | April 6, 2010; 1:22 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
Categories:  Census  | Tags:  Commerce Department, Government, Mail, United States Census Bureau, census bureau; 2010 census; u.s. census bureau; us census bureau  
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Eye Opener: Audit faults mine inspector training

A new government audit faults the federal government's mine inspection agency for poorly retraining veteran mine safety inspectors in recent years. The watchdog report was published just days before a West Virginia mine explosion Monday that left at least seven mine workers dead.

By Ed O'Keefe  | April 6, 2010; 6:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  Agencies and Departments  | Tags:  Federal government of the United States, Massey Energy, Mine Safety and Health Administration, Technology, United States, United States Department of Labor, West Virginia, mine blast  
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Karl Rove appears in TV ad for Census

Author and former George W. Bush adviser Karl Rove will appear in a new public service announcement from the U.S. Census Bureau designed to convince people to mail back their 2010 census forms by the end of the month.

By Ed O'Keefe  | April 5, 2010; 11:06 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (13)
Categories:  Census  
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Eye Opener: Agencies to pay bills in a FIT fashion

The Obama administration on Monday will open a new office at the Treasury Department designed to help federal agencies pay their bills more efficiently.

By Ed O'Keefe  | April 5, 2010; 6:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Agencies and Departments, Eye Opener  
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Video: The Federal Eye on unemployment

The Federal Eye appeared on MSNBC on Saturday morning to discuss the most recent employment statistics and how the the unemployment situation has impacted some key Democratic Party constituencies: Young people, Hispanics, Blacks and Asians.

By Ed O'Keefe  | April 4, 2010; 1:04 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
Categories:  Video Report  
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