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LII New This Week
New This Week for December 22, 2005
This Week
Read up on the USA PATRIOT Act, government surveillance, and labor relations in New York, then get ready for 2006 with our collection of quality websites about physical fitness, taxes, New Year resolutions, continuing education for librarians, the Winter Olympics, Super Bowl, and "only in California" occupations. Happy holidays from the LII team: Karen, Wendy, Pat, Jennifer, Maria, Charlotte, and Tom.

Tip of the Week
Next week, December 29, we do not publish. We will use this week to organize some of our collections, catch up on site maintenance, and otherwise get ready for a great new year of service to our readers. Happy New Year and thanks for reading New This Week!
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Business

National Retail Federation: Annual Holiday Sales Information
Information about retail shopping activity in the U.S. during the winter holiday season. Information before and after the holidays variously includes spending projections, shopping on the Friday and Monday after Thanksgiving ("Black Friday" and "Cyber Monday"), online shopping, and consumer surveys. Also includes a report with "recent and historical data on holiday trends, including sales data, holiday hiring, and shoplifting." From a trade association whose membership "comprises all retail formats."
URL: http://www.nrf.com/modules.php?name=News&id=615
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/6588

New York State Taylor Law: Negotiating to Avoid Strikes in the Public Sector
Article from 1998 describing the history and operation of New York state's 1967 Taylor Law (Public Employees Fair Employment Act). "The Taylor Law, permits union organizing [by public sector employees], and provides a system within which to resolve labor-management conflict short of striking" and "establishes certain mandatory bargaining issues." From a site maintained by a professor at the Department of City and Regional Planning, Cornell University.
URL: http://government.cce.cornell.edu/doc/reports/labor-management/ny_civi...
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/20118

New York State: Labor Relations History & Background
Collection of material about labor unions and the state of New York. In addition to an overview of the negotiation process, find information about bargaining units, workforce demographics, and the 1967 Taylor Law, which is "a labor relations statute covering most public employees in New York State -- whether employed by the State, or by ... cities." From the New York State Governor's Office of Employee Relations (GOER).
URL: http://www.goer.state.ny.us/cna/lrhistory/
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/20117

Teaching With Historic Places Lesson Plans: Paterson, New Jersey: America's Silk City
This lesson focuses on Paterson, New Jersey, which was known as "Silk City" in the late 19th and early 20th centuries when the town produced large quantities of silk fabric. "In 1913, however, the mills stood silent for five months as workers joined in a bitter strike." The website features readings about labor history in the town, maps, and historic images of mills, looms, dye houses, and other industrial scenes. From the National Park Service.
URL: http://www.nps.gov/history/nr/twhp/wwwlps/lessons/102paterson/102pater...
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/20060

Government

Center for Democracy and Technology: Security and Freedom
Contains background information, news, analysis, policy papers, legislation, and other information on wiretapping, the USA PATRIOT Act, cybersecurity and cybercrime, the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA, or the digital telephony law), and more. From the Center for Democracy and Technology.
URL: http://www.cdt.org/security/
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/14763

Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act: AskCALEA
Government information about the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act of 1994 (CALEA), a federal law designed to make wiretapping easier. CALEA is implemented by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
URL: http://www.askcalea.net
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/20099

Electronic Surveillance Laws
Summary of state and federal laws for electronic surveillance, which "involves the traditional laws on wiretapping -- any interception of a telephone transmission by accessing the telephone signal itself -- and eavesdropping -- listening in on conversations without the consent of the parties." Features a chart showing state laws, and descriptions of the Wire and Electronic Communications Interception and Interception of Oral Communications Act, USA PATRIOT Act, and other federal laws. From the National Conference of State Legislatures.
URL: http://www.ncsl.org/programs/lis/CIP/surveillance.htm
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/20101

Internal Revenue Service (IRS): Seniors & Retirees
Collection of IRS documents on tax topics of interest for older Americans and individuals planning for retirement. Includes relevant IRS publications and forms, and information about the Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) program, retirement plans, and other related subjects.
URL: http://www.irs.gov/individuals/retirees/
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/20106

National Security Agency (NSA)/Central Security Service (CSA): Frequently Asked Questions
This FAQ covers basic information about this cryptologic U.S. government agency whose "mission is the protection of U.S. information systems and the production of foreign signals intelligence information." Includes official U.S. government answers to questions such as "Why can't you talk about something after it has been in the newspaper?" and "Does NSA/CSS unconstitutionally spy on Americans?" (no) Includes some acronyms.
URL: http://www.nsa.gov/about/faqs/index.shtml
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/20090

The Sun Also Sets: Understanding the Patriot Act "Sunsets"
"The Patriot Act contains more than 150 separate sections in 10 major titles. About a tenth of the law expires or 'sunsets' this year [2005] unless Congress votes to reauthorize it. The sections discussed and listed ... [on this site] are the most significant provisions that Congress must examine as it deliberates again on the Patriot Act." Also includes links to related information from the ACLU. From the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).
URL: http://action.aclu.org/reformthepatriotact/sunsets.html
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/20091

Tax Guide for Investors: Guide to Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT)
Plain-language guide to the alternative minimum tax (AMT), which is "an extra tax some people have to pay on top of the regular income tax. The original idea ... was to prevent people with very high incomes from using special tax benefits to pay little or no tax." Discusses items that can cause AMT liability, claiming AMT credit, and related topics. From a tax lawyer and author of books and training materials on investment-related tax topics.
URL: http://fairmark.com/amt/
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/20107

Tax Statistics: Produced by the Statistics of Income Division and Other Areas of the Internal Revenue Service
Collection of statistics about the U.S. tax system, covering individual and business taxes, Internal Revenue Service (IRS) operations, charitable and tax-exempt organizations, and other topics. Browse by IRS form or topic. Availability of archived data varies by subject, but many areas go back to the mid-1990s. From the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
URL: http://www.irs.gov/taxstats/
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/20105

U.S. Courts: Wiretap Reports
This annual report contains data on court-authorized "Interception of Wire, Oral, or Electronic Communications." Covers areas such as jurisdictions with statutes that authorize interceptions, intercept orders issued by judges during the calendar year, and average cost of order. Reports go back to 1997. From the Administrative Office of the United States Courts.
URL: http://www.uscourts.gov/library/wiretap.html
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/20097

USA Patriot Act Sunset: Provisions That Expire on December 31, 2005
Text of the June 10, 2004, CRS (Congressional Research Service) Report for Congress about temporary provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act on "enhanced foreign intelligence and law enforcement surveillance authority," which were scheduled to expire at the end of 2005 if they did not get Congressional renewal. Opens directly into a PDF file. From the Federation of American Scientists (FAS).
URL: http://www.fas.org/irp/crs/RL32186.pdf
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/20087

What's Hot In Tax Forms, Publications, and Other Tax Products
Collection of links to information about tax law changes and changes to tax forms and publications for the current tax year and later. Covers individuals, businesses, and specific tax topics such as excise taxes, estates and trusts, and retirement plans. From the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
URL: http://www.irs.gov/formspubs/article/0,,id=97397,00.html
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/20103

Health

Familydoctor.org: Physical Activity
A collection of fact sheets on exercise and fitness, with an emphasis on safety (for weight training, running, snowboarding, and other sports) and specific injuries and illnesses (such as ankle sprains and shoulder pain). Includes links to pages on fitness for children, teenagers, and older adults. From the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP).
URL: http://familydoctor.org/online/famdocen/home/healthy/physical.html
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/20113

Fast Stats A to Z: Stroke/Cerebrovascular Disease
Statistics about strokes, including morbidity rates, number of patients (hospitals and home health care), deaths and death rates, cerebrovascular disease in general, and related subjects. Includes links to data sources. From the National Center for Health Statistics, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
URL: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/stroke.htm
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/20086

Feature Stories: New Year's Resolutions Guide
This series of articles provides ideas for sticking to resolutions made for the new year. Includes general resolution advice, and strategies for weight loss, exercise, and quitting smoking. From the University of Maryland Medical Center.
URL: http://www.umm.edu/features/resolutions_guide.htm
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/20114

NINDS Stroke Information Page
Fact sheet and related publications about stroke, which "occurs when the blood supply to part of the brain is suddenly interrupted or when a blood vessel in the brain bursts, spilling blood into the spaces surrounding brain cells." Discusses symptoms, treatment, and prognosis, and lists organizations for more information about strokes. Some publications available in Spanish. From the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), National Institutes of Health.
URL: http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/stroke/stroke.htm
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/20079

Physical Activity For Everyone
This site provides basic information for adults and children about physical activity and fitness. Topics include the value of physical activity and how to start a fitness program. Explains common terms and offers statistics on physical activity in the United States and resources for health professionals. From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
URL: http://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/dnpa/physical/
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/20112

Ready To Start a Fitness Program? Take These 5 Steps
This starting point for planning an exercise program contains resources for assessing your fitness level, designing a fitness program, getting exercise equipment, starting the program, and monitoring progress. Includes links to articles about weight training, stretching, aquatic exercise, aerobic exercise, and other fitness topics. From the MayoClinic.com, the website of the Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research.
URL: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/fitness/HQ00171
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/20063

Stanford Stroke Center
Information about stroke, a condition that "occurs when blood vessels carrying oxygen and other nutrients to a specific part of the brain suddenly burst or become blocked." The "Stroke Guide" provides general information about stroke, including prevention, diagnosis, treatment options, and recovery. The site also features a stroke risk assessment test, information about clinical trials, news, video clips, and a section for physicians. From the Stanford University School of Medicine.
URL: http://strokecenter.stanford.edu
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/20084

Home & Housing

About Mardi Gras: History of King Cakes
This cake baked with a toy baby in it is a staple of New Orleans cuisine. King cakes are typically served from the Feast of the Epiphany (Twelfth Night) through Mardi Gras, the pre-Lenten celebration. Includes two king cake recipes. From NOLA.com.
URL: http://www.nola.com/mardigras/food/?kingcake.html
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/20111

Media

Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA)
HFPA is an organization of international journalists that presents the Golden Globe Awards (held annually in January) for outstanding motion picture and television performances. The site features information about the organization and its philanthropic activities, a FAQ, and Golden Globe Award winners, history, photos, and video clips.
URL: http://www.goldenglobes.org/
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/4187

People

The Life of Louis Braille
Biography of Louis Braille, the man who "invented 'braille,' a world wide system of embossed type used by blind and partially sighted people for reading and writing." Includes links to related information about braille (some links include commercial content). From the Royal National Institute of the Blind (RNIB), a UK charity that produces braille and offers support and services for blind and visually impaired people.
URL: http://www.rnib.org.uk/xpedio/groups/public/documents/publicwebsite/pu...
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/20017

Ready Reference & Quick Facts

Fimoculous: Lists
Find hundreds of year-end "best-of" (and some "worst-of") lists. Topics include books, film, music, automobiles, words (such as banished word list and word of the year), people, and more. Includes links to lists from previous years. From Web personality and chronic list-compiler Rex Sorgatz.
URL: http://www.fimoculous.com/year-review-2008.cfm
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/20029

Late Show With David Letterman: Top Ten Archive
According to this official site, "the Smithsonian has asked us [The Late Show] to do our part to organize and preserve our nation's precious comedy heritage. So we're offering an annual archive of all Late Show Top Ten Lists." Includes these humorous lists back to 1993, covering topics such as "Top Ten Signs You're Not Going To Be Named Time Magazine's Person Of The Year," and "Top Ten Signs You're On A Bad Diet."
URL: http://www.cbs.com/latenight/lateshow/top_ten/archive/
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/20122

Urban Legends Reference Pages: Christmas
The site offers over two dozen Christmas legends and myths, including Jesus' birth date, the number of wise men, the accepted meaning of the Immaculate Conception, the origin of the Yule log, the symbolism of candy canes, Christmas cards, Boxing Day, the Twelve Days of Christmas, and more, while discrediting some commonly accepted Christmas news stories. Do not miss the fruitcake page. From the Urban Legends Reference Pages.
URL: http://www.snopes.com/holidays/christmas/
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/5457

Recreation

History of the Super Bowl
These articles discuss each game that has been played in this National Football League (NFL) annual event that pits the winner of the American Football Conference (AFC) against the National Football Conference (NFC) winner. Covers the first game in 1967 through 2007. Also includes a list of games, with teams and scores. From the website for Sporting News magazine.
URL: http://www.sportingnews.com/archives/superbowl/
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/20102

Winter Olympics History
Historical information about all Olympic Winter Games back to the first games in Chamonix, France, in 1924. Includes medal totals, and list of gold, silver, and bronze medal-winners in each event. Also includes links to information about the 2006 Olympic Winter Games in Turin, Italy. From CBS SportsLine.com.
URL: http://www.sportsline.com/olympics/winter/history
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/20104

Regional: California

Calflora: Information on Wild California Plants for Use in Conservation, Education, and Appreciation
Contains searchable summaries of "geographic distribution, habitat, and lifeform data for the [thousands of] vascular plants known to be native or naturalized in California." Searchable or browsable by common name, scientific name, and family name. From the University of California, Berkeley.
URL: http://www.calflora.org/species/
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/5430

Employment Development Department [California]
"Your direct link to job placement and referrals, unemployment insurance, disability insurance, employment and training, labor market information, payroll taxes, and more." Includes information such as employment tax rates and withholding schedules, independent contractor reporting rules, job fairs and events, application for paid family leave, statistics about the California labor market, and related information. Some material also in Spanish.
URL: http://www.edd.ca.gov
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/19874

Regional: Washington State

Regions of the World

Black History Month [Canada]
"Every year Canadians are invited to take part in the festivities and events that honour the legacy of Black Canadians, past and present, during Black History Month [in February]." The site features an overview of historic events, brief biographical information about important black Canadians, and links to related sites. In English and French. From the government of Canada.
URL: http://www.cic.gc.ca/multi/mhn-bhm/index-eng.asp
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/20115

Facts About Israel: State
Official Israeli government information about Israel's political structure, presidency, prime ministers, legislature (Knesset), elections, courts, executive branch, law enforcement, local government, and defense forces. Includes links to related articles and content. Available in Hebrew and English. From the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
URL: http://www.mfa.gov.il/mfa/facts%20about%20israel/state/
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/20116

Society & Social Science

American Public Transit Association (APTA)
Material about public transportation from an advocacy organization. The "Industry Information" section features transit and ridership statistics, and reports and surveys about the benefits of public transportation, the connection between public transportation and greenhouse gas reduction, terrorism and public transportation, and more. Also includes news, information about government affairs, and links to related sites. Some material only available to members.
URL: http://www.apta.com
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/20096

College Tuition and Undocumented Immigrants
Overview of the issues concerning the provision in the federal Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 that prohibits states "from offering in-state tuition rates to unauthorized immigrant students unless other U.S. citizens are eligible for the same rate," and the resulting state laws that do allow in-state tuition for undocumented immigrants. From the National Conference of State Legislatures, a "bipartisan organization that serves the legislators and staffs of the nation's 50 states." Some broken links.
URL: http://www.ncsl.org/programs/educ/undocimmigrant.htm
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/20065

Dynix Institute Word to the Wise
"The Dynix Institute Word to the Wise is a list of library technology words to help you stay up to date on the latest technology buzzwords surrounding the library industry." Read online or sign up for the free weekly mailing. Includes an archive of past terms. From library software vendor SirsiDynix.
URL: http://www.dynix.com/institute/word/
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/20093

EBSCOhost Database: Library, Information Science & Technology Abstracts (LISTA)
This database offers free abstracts (but not full text) of books, magazine articles, reports, and other resources on subjects such as "librarianship, classification, cataloging, bibliometrics, online information retrieval, information management and more." Coverage goes back to the 1910s. From EBSCO Publishing.
URL: http://www.libraryresearch.com/
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/20003

National Assessment of Adult Literacy (NAAL)
The "2003 National Assessment of Adult Literacy (NAAL) measures the English literacy of America's adults (people age 16 and older living in households and prisons). NAAL builds on the previous national assessment of literacy completed in 1992." The NAAL website features reports, data tools, survey and literacy background, a glossary, and links to related materials about literacy. From the National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES), U.S. Department of Education.
URL: http://nces.ed.gov/naal/
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/20074

National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB): Most Wanted Transportation Safety Improvements
Annotated list of "critical changes needed to reduce transportation accidents and save lives," according to the NTSB. Includes information about specific modes of transportation (aviation, highway, intermodal, marine, pipeline, and railroad), state issues, and the original "Most Wanted" list from 1990.
URL: http://www.ntsb.gov/Recs/mostwanted/index.htm
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/20089

Rebuild New Orleans Public Library
This website for the New Orleans Public Library (NOPL) provides information about recovery efforts following hurricanes Katrina and Rita. The site features information about current services, photographs and damage assessments for libraries, weekly progress reports, and opportunities for donating to the rebuilding efforts. Includes links to related information about Hurricane Katrina recovery.
URL: http://nutrias.org
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/20100

SirsiDynixInstitute.com
SirsiDynix, a library software vendor, provides free biweekly Web seminars featuring "compelling speakers selected from among leaders in librarianship and information technology." Seminar topics include management, funding, diversity, community outreach, library standards, and more. Includes seminar archives.
URL: http://www.dynix.com/institute/
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/20092


LII New This Week

Thanks for reading LII New This Week!

Jennifer English, Liaison to Califa Library Group
Wendy Hyman, Senior Editor
Maria Brandt, Associate Editor
Charlotte Bagby, Senior Weeder