Archive for the ‘international mediation’ Category

Recent Accomplishments

December 1, 2009

Recent Notable Accomplishments –
Jeff Thompson

Mediation

Mediated over 70 cases in 2009. Cases include community mediation centers, Manhattan civil court and New York County Lawyers Association.

Trainings

2 day training for security personal in advanced conflict resolution skills.

Designed conflict and communication skills workshop for over 200 NYPD Community Affairs Bureau. officers.

Designed an Interfaith Dialogue and Communication Skills workshop.

Various requests to speak in other states and with other police departments.

Public Talks

CUNY John Jay College- Overview of the Community Affairs Bureau and how communication skills can be utilized in de-escalating situations and promoting community and NYPD relationships.

Cardozo Law School- same as above.

St John’s University- Embracing Diversity in NYC and the NYPD (communication techniques).

Bond University, Australia- Spoke to Graduate students on how effective mediation and negotiation skills can be applied to numerous situations.

Southern Cross University/Centre For Peace & Social Justice, Australia- Public talk on mediating in NYC and as well as policing, cultural issues and communication. [read more]

Robina Town Centre, Australia- Public talk with the Queensland Police Department on how both the NYPD and QPD both use communication and community engagement to establish relationships with the communities we serve. [read more]

http://www.ODR.info’s 2009 Cyber Week Event- Designed and hosted Web 2.0: Going From Oh? To Know! The event featured three top bloggers and the editor of mediate.com sharing their experiences and provided tips on how to use different web technology to help your practice. The event has been archived. [read more]

Interviews

NBC Nightly News- Interviewed by reporter Tiki barber in regards to the NYPD Cricket Program. View the video [here]

Interviewed by California author and mediator Steve Mehta. [read and watch here]

ABC Radio Australia- Interviewed live on radio in regards to the Robina and Southern Cross events.

Additional interviews with (but not limited to) Al Jazera, BBC, BBN3 and the NY Sun.

Published Articles

Article on mediation and communication published in California State Bar Association’s Magazine: Trial Styles.

Published over 60 times at Mediate.com, the leading worldwide website in mediation.

Articles listed at national organization Association for Conflict Resolution (ACR) website.

Article on mediation and communication published in Spring 3100, official NYPD magazine distributed to over 30,000 members.

Featured in an American Bar Association (ABA) law student paper in regards to using communication to peacefully resolve incidents during a protest. [read here]

New York Law Journal- Featured in an article forthcoming regarding credit card debt mediation cases.

Featured Blog at mediate.com and International Mediation Institute (IMImediation.org)

Featured In Articles

Newsweek article- Featured in an article regarding the volunteer mediation work I have done with Safe Horizon in New York City Civil Court. [read here]

Sydney Morning Herald– Feature on the front page of the website in regards to the NYPD Cricket program. [read here]

Tweed Daily News, Australia

Gold Coast Bulletin, Australia

Werner Institute, School of Law, Creighton University Newsletter Win-Win (Fall 2009)

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ADR News

July 3, 2009

Next Week @ Enjoy Mediation
Coming next week I am going to try and switch to a Monday, Wednesday, Friday posting format. This way you, the readers, will be able to know when new posts will be published.
This Monday’s post will recap of the monthly ACRG-NY (Association of Conflict Resolution- Greater New York Chapter) meeting that was held this past Thursday. This month’s gathering had over 70 people in attendance (good job people!) but with the listserv having 1,500+ people and many out of the NYC area, I thought some might enjoy a recap.
Wednesday will have a post and NY Times video on ‘Thinking Outside The Box: The NYPD & Cricket’ (I hope the intrigue and anticipation does not ruin your weekend!).

Friday will be the usual ADR news round up.

onto the news…


Big News In NZ-
Private Mediators To Be Used In Auckland Court Under Pilot
Wellington, July 3 NZPA – Private mediators will work with parties in civil disputes under a pilot scheme to be run at the High Court in Auckland…A panel of up to 15 mediators who were experienced legal practitioners qualified and experienced in mediation would be set up.
Full article [here]
Read the press release [here]
Questions I have- what are the qualifications? How will the roster be administered? Will they be paid, if so how much?

IMI Registration Tops 1,000 Worldwide
Good news from Irena Vanenkova, IMI Operations Director, via email the other day:IMI Registrations Top 1,000 WorldwideIMI Moves on to Certification by AssessmentIMI completed its Experience Qualification Path on June 30 2009. Over 1,000 experienced mediators from 35 countries took the opportunity to register on the IMI portal during the EQP period.
Already, over 100 mediators have completed their Profiles and are searchable on IMI’s open-access search engine. That number is expected to grow to almost 1,000 within 3 months. Registered mediators have until September 30 2009 to complete their Profiles. With the help of a 50-strong Independent Standards Commission, IMI is now moving on to implement Criteria that entities need to meet in order to be authorized to qualify experienced mediators for IMI Certification in the future.IMI’s Chairman, Michael McIlwrath of General Electric said:

“This is a truly great milestone from provably experienced mediators! Access to such an impressive number around the world will satisfy the needs of users for credible and convincing data about competent mediators. More than that, it is significant step in a drive by stakeholders to expand the mediation pie by injecting more confidence and understanding into mediation practice, and give it standing as a truly global profession. Future steps will be to promote the portal’s search engine to users worldwide to identify competent and suitable mediators for disputes, and to leverage the IMI experience to expand and extend the uptake of mediation in different countries and markets.”

IMI is now inviting top trainers, providers, professional and educational institutions to consider the Criteria established by the Independent Standards Commission and apply for authorization to deliver assessment programs qualifying experienced mediators for IMI Certification on a wider scale.Further details are available on the IMI web portal at http://www.imimediation.org/
(Disclaimer: I am signed up with IMI and am currently in the process of being certified)

ODR & The White House
Ethan Katsh posted the following at the Online Dispute Resolution Group @ Linkedin:
As some of you may know, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) has, for the past month, been sponsoring a large scale online discussion. The purpose of the dialog is to generate new initiatives about how citizens might interact with government. In the first phase of the dialog, there were various proposals suggested for applications of ODR and ADR. During the last phase, which is occurring this week, ODR and alternative dispute resolution are featured prominently on the OSTP blog at http://blog.ostp.gov/2009/06/29/collaborative-problem-solving-and-alternative-dispute-resolution/ This blog posting will be open for public comment through next Monday, July 6th. If you have something, hopefully positive, to say about expanded ODR use by federal agencies, posting something to that effect would be extremely valuable and I would urge you to do so. The people in charge of the White House Open Government initiative actually are familiar with ODR and any ideas you might have about the value and benefits of ODR in the government context would, I think, have an impact.
Please feel free to forward this to anyone else who you think might be interested.


Mediator Suggested in California State Budget Impasse
State Treasurer Bill Lockyer sure has some radical ideas about how to break California’s government gridlock.
Hire a professional mediator to facilitate talks between lawmakers and the governor. Former U.S. Secretary of State George Shultz, maybe?
And craft two budgets – one for the liberal coast and one for more conservative inland regions.
“We’ll have the budget for the coast that has tax increases and services,” Lockyer said in a wide-ranging interview with The Times’ Sacramento bureau. “And in a bunch of other areas in Central and Southern California that don’t have tax increases … their public schools are closed a month of the year – and see what happens.”

Full article [here]

Joe Biden Does Not Equal Mediator with Iraq
President Obama is giving Vice President Biden a larger portfolio to handle, asking him to oversee reconciliation inside Iraq, but Biden will not be a mediator between factions.
“I think he will be involved in working with Shia, Sunni and Kurd to achieve political reconciliation. I would hesitate to use the term ‘mediator,’ ” White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said at Tuesday’s briefing. “Somebody who I think can oversee that we are making progress, that our attention and our resources are matched by what we see needs to happen. I think that he’s well suited to do that.”

Full article [here]

Small Business Mediation in Australia
During his many speaking engagements to promote his small business mediation service, Small Business Commissioner Mark Brennan likes to quote a letter written by a commercial real estate agent to an aggrieved tenant.
…According to him, disputes over leases have made up 90 per cent of the 800 cases brought to the Victorian Small Business Commission’s dispute resolution service.
The idea behind the mediation is to provide a low-cost, less confrontational forum that can deal with everything from a $76 unpaid invoice, to trouble over a $650,000 property settlement.

Read more [here]

Mediation With Joe Salama
Don’t know Joe? I don’t either, let’s get to know him together with a Q&A via the Examiner [here]

Air Canada Names Mediator
The federal government has assigned two mediators to oversee the talks between Air Canada and its lone dissenting union, the Air Canada Component of CUPE, which has so far refused to sign off on an extension of its current contract for fear it would lead to job losses.
All five of Air Canada’s unions have agreed to a tentative agreement for a 21-month moratorium on the airline’s pension-funding obligations this week, after its solvency deficit ballooned to $2.9-billion last year. But CUPE, which represents 6,700 Air Canada flight attendants, is the only one yet to agree to an extension of its current labour contract, which is set to expire at the end of June. CUPE says the concessions the airline is seeking would likely result in job losses.

Read more [here]

News For 5.11.09

May 11, 2009

Panel recommends Harvard ombudsman to bridge police, campus ‘schism’
An independent committee recommended today that Harvard University create a public-safety ombudsman and take other steps to mend the at-times rocky relationship between the campus police force and the diverse community it patrols.
The committee, appointed by Harvard President Drew Faust in August after some black students and staff complained of racial profiling by the predominantly white police force, said in an 81-page report that more work needs to be done to create a welcoming, safe, and open environment for the Harvard community.
Full article [
here]

Government Considers Option for Civil Dispute Resolution
NSW, Australia- The New South Wales Government wants to make it easier to resolve civil neighbourhood disputes over issues like fences and noise.
Attorney-General John Hatzistergos says only a small number of civil disputes are decided by a judge, but people still spend a lot of time and money preparing for court.
He has released a discussion paper on the issue which suggests alternatives to resolving civil disputes, including free legal advice and mediation.
Submissions on the discussion paper close at the end of the month.
Note, this is the entire article, the link is [
here]

Program Readies Inmates ‘Reunions’
HAGERSTOWN, Md. A unique program geared to preparing prison inmates to reunite with their families and loved ones upon release has spread to Washington County.
Following models already in place at prisons in Baltimore and Jessup, Md., the Washington County Community Mediation Center started arranging “re-entry mediation” sessions for inmates at Maryland Correctional Training Center, a medium-security men’s prison south of Hagerstown, said Valerie Main, executive director of the Washington County center.
Full Article [here]

Voters Turn Down Mediator
ESSEX — Before humans first stepped onto windswept Conomo Point, it served as a natural divider between Essex Bay and Essex River; since the town of Essex took control of the land, it has had a similar effect on its residents.
Voters at Monday night’s annual Town Meeting were divided in ways other than numbers — 73 opposed, and 59 in favor — when asked if selectmen, along with the tenants of Conomo Point, should retain the services of a mediator to discuss the future of town-owned land north of Robbins Island Road.
Full article [here]

Mediators In Israeli-Palestinian Peace Process

NICOSIA, May 6 (Xinhua) — U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Wednesday called for a reinforced role for the Quartet in reviving the Israeli-Palestinian peace process on a two-state basis.
In a message sent to an international meeting in support of Israeli-Palestinian peace held in Nicosia, the U.N. chief emphasized that the Quartet, which includes the United States, the European Union, Russia, and the U.N., remains, are firmly committed to the goal of a two-state solution.
…Tony Blair, the Quartet’s current special envoy, has said that the mediators will adopt a new strategic plan, while the U.S. President Barack Obama pushing for the establishment of a Palestinian state, has he met his Israeli counterpart Simon Peres in Washington.
Full article [
here]

Mediation & ADR News

May 5, 2009

Staff Demand for Conflict Resolution Up 25%

The number of formal complaints filed by faculty and staff to the conflict resolution section of Human Resources has increased by 25 percent this year, a university official said.
Shari Barnes, conflict resolution facilitator, said the number of complaints received rises every year but this year’s 25 percent jump is the largest increase ever. It has been available to university staff members since October 2000 and to faculty members since May 2005, she said.

Full story [here]

Vodafone Says No To Mediator
Vodafone yesterday rejected 12th-hour offers from independent mediators to settle the row over interference from the new Telecom 3G mobile network.
Full story [here]

Should Town Hire a Mediator?
ESSEX — Days after residents were shown plans to subdivide Conomo Point south of Robbins Island Road — a benchmark in a process given the go-ahead by voters last year — residents at tonight’s annual Town Meeting will be asked if the town should hire a mediator to help reach a common ground over what’s to be done with the rest of Conomo Point.
Full story [here]

Kansas City Cuts Mediation Program
The City of Kansas City, Mo., Dispute Resolution/Community Relations section of the Human Relations Division has been eliminated due to adoption of the fiscal year 2009-10 budget. Reduction in Force procedures also eliminated all remaining staff in that office last week.
Full article [here]

ACORN Pushes For Mandatory Bank-Homeowner Mediation
Organizers for ACORN held a press conference on the steps of the Osceola County Courthouse in Kissimmee, Florida on Tuesday, April 28 at 1:00 PM to introduce a mediation program designed to help homeowners under threat of foreclosure stay in their homes.
Full story [here]

Mediation & ADR News

April 28, 2009

Fiji Under Pressure to Allow International Mediators
“What we are hoping is that the UN will continue to engage in the dialogue and mediation process to do with Fiji in partnership with the Commonwealth and obviously working through the Pacific Forum.”
Read more [here]

Police Tell Warring Residents to Seek Mediation
POLICE have urged warring Coomera Waters residents to seek mediation after the ongoing dispute about who should have access to a footpath took another dramatic turn…
Police Acting Inspector Andrew Dupere said rather than fight, residents should consider mediation.
Insp Dupere said police would not become involved but if called would help keep the peace.
“It’s a civil matter. We’re there to keep the peace and make sure no violence happens between the different parties or it doesn’t escalate into violence,” he said.

Read more [here]

Victims Prefer Mediation Over Legal Action
The latest research conducted in KwaZulu- Natal, the province with the highest incidence of domestic violence, shows that most victims prefer mediation to taking their abusers to court.
The victims participated in victim-centred restorative justice mediation voluntarily.

Full article [here]

Flexibility, partnerships, knowledge key to mediating conflicts – UN official
To boost its ability to prevent and limit bloodshed, the United Nations must have flexible funding, regional partnerships and accessible information for mediation, the Organization’s political chief said today.
“Mediation is a Charter activity of the United Nations and must be carried out with the highest degree of professionalism, transparency and preparation to promote peace and security,” …

Full article [here]

The Brave New World of Disputes

April 27, 2009

A recent article written in the National Law Journal by Ian Meredith, Laura Atherton and Marcus M. Birch gives us a glance at potential massive disputes that will arise in the next two decades. The top three areas of possible conflict stem from the analysis of the National Intelligence Council’s 2008 report, “2025 Global Trends: A Transformed World. They are:

  1. Competition for carbon-based sources of energy. The NIC predicts that scarcity of carbon-based sources of energy and a desire for secure access to energy supplies will bring countries into conflict.
  2. Water. Activities by countries close to a water source that reduce the water available to downstream countries through diversion, retention and pollution of water are increasing worldwide, and with them the number of disputes.
  3. Natural Resources of the seabed. there are potentially 430 maritime boundaries among 67 coastal countries, fewer than half are agreed upon and only a handful of those involve the outer continental shelf, disputes are inevitable.

As with today’s global economy situation, financial disputes also are listed a potential provider to international conflict. A worthy note is financial disputes are not just between international corporations, but also between nations. The recent Naftohaz Ukrainy and Gazprom dispute, both state run by the Ukraine and Russia respectively, serves as an example.

So how does ADR fit in on the international stage? Well, The EU Directive on Mediation in Civil and Commercial Matters, adopted in 2008, not only encourages mediation but also the enforcement of agreements reached there as well.

The article adds that the international neutral community will face two challenges:

  1. The need for greater sophistication in the mechanisms deployed to stimulate settlement;
  2. The need for greater cultural sensitivity as mediation is used to address disputes between parties from different cultural traditions.

The issue of cultural sensitivity seems to be ‘popping’ up often. When attending the recent American Bar Association section on Dispute Resolution’s Spring Conference in New York City, there were numerous sessions dedicated to the issue of mediating internationally and the issue of cultural differences.

Read the entire article [here].

Negotiating Justice: A guide for Mediators

April 22, 2009

Guide for Global Mediators

This gem of a guide/report is written by Priscilla Hayner, Director of the ICTJ Program on Peace and Justice and part of the HD Centre’s “Negotiating Justice: Strategies for tackling isues in peace processes”.

This report will serve the global mediator well. A major topic covered includes the very important, and ever increasing issue of when dealing with international peace talks, how to handle amesty dilemmas. The issue is brought up to show that it is not as simple being ‘peace versus justice’ but more complex. Also, framing it in such a way limits options (remember- expanding the pie).

Chapter one deals with framing the questions of justice and how it can be focused on two dinstinct goals. First being, “justice mesaures might seek accountabilty for abuses of the past, which may be done through both judicial and non-judicial means. Second, a justice policy may strengthen instituations or laws to prevent abuses in the future. Additionally, conflict can be approached by asking the following four questions:

  1. What has been the nature of the abuses in the conflict
  2. What demands for accountability may arise, and from whom?
  3. Who is well placed to offer policy options?
  4. What are the options for justice? And what should be done inside the peace negotiations to address these?

Chapter two goes onto discuss recent experiences of peace agreements and how the issue of justice is included. In regards to implementation, it is noted the more the steps are explicit and a timeline is included, the greater the chance of the measures being carried out. A list of criteria is given to consider when designing peace agreements.

The report then goes into the detailed process of who to include in the peace process and the various levels of involvement each party can play. This chapter, and the report as a whole, has a substantial impact on those in the global mediation field who read this because not only does it give structural tips on how to handle the broad spectrum on agreements, but it also includes specific, real examples of them being used in various settings around the globe.

The next two chapters deal with the issue of amnesty and and the role of the International Criminal Court (ICC). Although the mediator is a neutral party to the talks, almost always the issue of amnesty will be raised, so it is imeperative to know the international laws regarding it, and recent situations involving this sensitive topic. The ICC can play a pivotal role in the direction of a peace agreement. An appropriate example is the recent arrest warrant it issued to Sudanese President Bashir on five counts of crimes against humanity and two counts of war crimes.

For only 24 pages, this report has a wealth of imformation. It conlcudes with a section on emerging lessons and best practices making this report a good addition to the stack of reference books for any global mediator.

Read the report [here]

America, Land of the International Mediator?

April 13, 2009

UN’s mediation capacity must be bolstered: Ban Ki-moon
United Nations (PTI): Describing United Nations’ role in peaceful settlement of disputes as its primary mission, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has said the world body’s mediation capacity must be bolstered.
“Too often in the past, mediators have been dispatched without the full benefit of specialised training and background information, giving United Nations efforts an ad hoc quality too dependent on trial and error,” Ban wrote in a report to the Security Council made public on Thursday.

Full (short) article [here]

America, Land of the International Mediators?
The following article refers to President Obama and his administrations shift in foreign policy compared to his predecessor.
“…This is not a major new policy – but it does seem like another small shift toward repositioning the U.S. as a credible mediator seeking to work simultaneously for the rights and best interests of both Israelis and Palestinians. Rarely has a U.S. president spoken so clearly about both Israelis and Palestinians needing to change their ways to achieve peace.”
Full article [here]

Australian Family Mediation Saves Government $
Forcing feuding parents to undergo mediation before entering the court system has saved the federal government millions of dollars, a new report reveals.Under changes to the Family Law Act introduced from mid-2007, mothers and fathers who want a parenting order from the court must first attend family dispute resolution meetings.
Full article [here]

Blair: Skepticism about peace after Netanyahu win
JERUSALEM (AP) — International mediator Tony Blair says there’s skepticism about the prospects for peace because of Israel’s new government.
Blair spoke Monday after meeting with Israel’s new prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu. Blair said he believes Netanyahu understands that the only formula for peace is a Palestinian state next to Israel.
Netanyahu has pointedly not endorsed creation of a Palestinian state. Blair thought Netanyahu would come around “if the right context can be created for peace.”
Blair noted skepticism over Netanyahu’s election and said there must be time for the new governments in Israel and the U.S. to “settle down.”
Blair said “the only solution that will ever work” is two states living side by side in peace.


UN To Review Mediation Role in Fiji
Update: 3:08PM THE United Nations will review its decision to mediate the proposed President’s Political Dialogue Forum which was to chart a way forward for a return to parliamentary democracy.
Full brief article [here]

Parishes ask Vatican for mediation over closings
BOSTON (AP) — Worshippers in eight dioceses around the country have banded together in a last-ditch effort to ask the Vatican to instruct bishops to negotiate with them over the closures of their parishes and to stop them from “wrecking the Catholic Church in America.”
Full article [here]

Highschool Musical & Mediation!

April 9, 2009

Highschool Musical Part IV: Mediation Time!


Trying to get your kids to think mediation is cool?
Can’t convince them the better choice is communication- not violence?

Well, tell them Venessa Hudgens of Disney’s Highschool Musical uses mediation.


Read the pointless article [here]





Parishioners from eight dioceses seek mediation for parish closings
WASHINGTON – Parishioners from 31 groups in eight U.S. dioceses have joined forces to ask the Vatican to suspend parish closings and to instruct bishops to negotiate the closures with local Catholics…
Peter Borre, co-chairman of the Boston-based Council of Parishes, formed in 2004 to oppose parish closings, said the effort is meant to offer a “third way” for the Catholic Church to respond to changing demographics, financial concerns and the declining number of priests nationwide. Full article [here]

Hospital, Town set for Mediation
Trinity Medical Center and the city of Irondale will use mediation in an effort to resolve a multimillion-dollar dispute over the hospital’s decision to switch its relocation to U.S. 280.
The hospital and government officials will meet May 27 in an attempt to settle out of court an argument over the city’s investment to prepare a site off Grants Mill Road for Trinity to build a $316 million, 424-bed hospital.

Full article [here]

Ambulance Group In Mediation

A member of the Sauk Prairie Ambulance Association’s oversight commission hopes to avoid what could become a heated public confrontation between the two organizations over the fate of Rikky Schiller, the ambulance association’s embattled president…

…Wenzel, who is married to Schiller’s husband’s sister, will mediate the meeting.
“My main goal is to get them to communicate,” Wenzel said. “There has been no communication between those three. This is not the time to go back and bring up old grudges. If they can communicate maybe they can work this thing out before it goes to a total fracas at a public meeting.”

Full article [here]

Somililand and Conflict Resolution

(Somalilandpress) – Traditionally, disputes and conflicts in Somali society are resolved through recourse to an unwritten code of conduct or social contract called xeer: traditional law agreed upon by the clans in each area, and dependent on the deliberations of elders who gather to resolve specific problems within a clan or between clans…

…New xeer rules are developed to address unforeseen occurrences, so the system is a dynamic and evolving one. Aggrieved parties may negotiate under the auspices of a Guurti or else a group of mediators known as ergo may be despatched to attempt to mediate between the parties without becoming overly engaged in the subject-matter of the dispute. If a settlement is not agreed at this stage, a xeerbeegti or jury, may be appointed to pass judgement on a given case with each party being expected to accept the verdict.

Full article [here]

U.S. Dept of Peace???… & more ADR News

March 20, 2009

(note: parts 6 & 7 of the 7 Elements of Negotiation will appear Monday and Tuesday)

No More Police Raids: China and Europe Agree to Talk
There was no dawn raid by police to seize patent-infringing MP3 players at this year’s Cebit trade show — but behind the scenes, haggling over technology licensing continued.
Raids by German police or customs officers had become a regular feature of shows such as Cebit, in Hanover, and IFA, in Berlin, in recent years, often at the instigation of an Italian company, Sisvel, which licenses patented technology essential to the manufacture of MP3 players.
At this year’s Cebit, though, things were a little quieter, thanks in part to the intervention of a team of mediators from a new organization, the China IPR Desk, supported by China’s Ministry of Commerce and the European Commission.

read more [here]

Moscow Moves To Draw Moldova, Transdniester Leaders Back Into Fold
The leaders of Moldova and its separatist Transdniester region have agreed to jump-start efforts to resolve their decades-long dispute through a combination of bilateral contacts and international mediation. A Kremlin-brokered meeting in Moscow on March 18 was only the second direct contact between Moldovan President Vladimir Voronin and Transdniestrian leader Igor Smirnov in almost eight years.
Read more [here]

Californian Bill Would Help Teachers Master Conflict Resolution
SACRAMENTO – Teachers could get some recognized training to deal with classroom conflicts under the terms of a bill by a Salinas-area lawmaker that passed its first legislative review Wednesday.
Assembly Bill 1 by Assemblyman Bill Monning, D-Monterey, would authorize coursework in negotiation, mediation, arbitration and other techniques as part of teachers’ professional development.
Read more [here] (Note: have a look at the first comment posted by a reader)

Department of Peace?
Has anyone heard of a Bill in Congress proposing the creation of the Department of Peace?

“On Monday, March 23, hundreds of citizen activists from around the country will swarm over Capital Hill, meeting with your Representatives and Senators about legislation to create a U.S. Department of Peace – House Resolution 808. Please support this Band of Brothers and Sisters by adding your voice to the lobbying effort. Using this petition will send a letter to your Representative letting him or her know that you also believe this legislation is deserving of their co-sponsorship.”
From [here]

More:
“If you’re not familiar with this movement, it intends to create a Cabinet-level secretary and department in Washington, whose mission statement would be to advocate for peaceful conflict-resolution at all levels from domestic violence to international conflict and war. It is proposed in the House of Representatives as HR 808, and has 66 co-sponsors…”
Read the article [here]