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Free Press 5-11-12

Free Press 5-11-12

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Published by: hudgons on May 14, 2012
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www.facebook.com/ championnewspaper
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Serving East Atlanta, Avondale Estates, Brookhaven, Chamblee, Clarkston, Decatur, Doraville, Dunwoody, Lithonia, Pine Lake, Tucker and Stone Mountain.
 by Robert Naddrarobert@dekalbchamp.com
t was difficult to tell which was more re-laxed—Nellie, a 7-year-old Great Pyreneestherapy dog that was sprawled on the floor of the Georgia Perimeter College library,or GPC sophomore
Rebecca Miller
Miller, taking a break from her final examschedule May 2, sat on the floor and spent morethan 30 minutes fawning over the dog. Nellie was one of nine dogs that were a partof GPC Clarkston’s Library Paws program thatallowed students, faculty and staff a chance torelieve stress by petting the animals. Miller alsospent time petting Freckles, a 6-year-old NovaScotia duck tolling retriever. The dogs wereavailable for a few hours April 30-May 2 during
exam week.
“Studies have shown that stress can bereduced by petting animals,” said
Eva Laut-emann
, GPC Clarkston’s library director. “I readan article [that stated] several major universitieswere doing it, and I figured we could do it atGPC.”The program was a hit with the participantsat GPC.For Miller, who hadn’t had a dog since her  previous pet died when she was 8 years old, theevent was cathartic.“It’s been a while since I actually sat downand petted one,” Miller said with a smile. “Thishas been really relaxing. I don’t even think aboutschool when I’m here.”Several students visited the animals morethan once, including 17-year-old
Kianna Little
and 18-year-old
Afom Haile
. Both spent time petting Freckles and Nellie after exams on May2.“I just came from my last final and this helpsa lot,” Haile said. “It’s a good way to let go of some stress.”Haile was in the library finishing an essaywhen he saw the dogs during the first day of the
“It motivated me to finish my paper so Icould go see the dogs,” Haile said. “They had tothrow me out of here and I’ve been back everyday.”Lautemann said she is hopeful that the pro-gram can become a twice-a-year-event and beintroduced at the school’s other campuses.
Laura Tartak 
, the library director at GPC’s Newton campus, got a firsthand glimpse at the popularity of the program in Clarkston. Tartak said she rushed over after picking up her car from a mechanic’s shop.“I had to make the mechanics hurry up andfinish so I could get over here before Nellie left,”Tartak said.GPC’s Library Paws program is modeledafter the national Reading Paws program, whichhas a chapter in Georgia. Reading Paws uses na-tionally registered animal/owner therapy teamsto go to schools, libraries and bookstores as read-ing companions for children. Using the dogs oncollege campuses is a trend that has taken off inrecent years.An animal therapy program also was done atEmory University this year and over the past fewyears at campuses across the country, includingUniversity of California, University of Connecti-cut, Rutgers University, University of Texas andat small colleges in Illinois and Pennsylvania.“Our library staff was all excited when wedecided to do this,” Lautemann said. “It was agroup effort and the Reading Paws people have been great to work with.”The event is something many students arelooking forward to seeing again.“I was here every day and I’ll come back next time,” Little said.For Miller, it was an easy choice. “Free foodand dogs will always bring in students,” she said.
Dogs provide relaxing outlet for college students during final exams
Students and faculty at the Georgia Perimeter Col-lege Clarkston campus spent time petting dogsrecently during exam week to relieve stress as
part of the college’s Library Paws program. Nel-lie, a Great Pyrenees owned by GPC-Newton librarydirector Elaine Bryan, left, and Freckles, a NovaScotia duck tolling retriever, were big hits withthose who participated. Photos by Robert Naddra
Stress test 
Page 2A The Champion Free Press, Friday, May 11, 2012
DeKalb CEO vetoes $75,000 for commissioners’proposed communications specialist
ElEction 2012
Guide to the Candidates
 Election 2012
Guide to theCandidates questionaires will be sentout to all qualifying candidates onMonday, June 04, 2012.• Candidates must complete andreturn questionaires by Friday, June08, in order to be included in theguide.
Candidates, reserve your advertising space
LouiseD@dekalbchamp.com • 404.373.7779 x 102
See CEO on Page 3A
 by Andrew Cauthenandrew@dekalbchamp.comAfter overriding a veto byDeKalb CEO
Burrell Ellis
,the Board of Commission-ers hasset in mo-tion plansto move$75,000from his budgetto funda publicinforma-
tion ofcer 
 position for the board.But commissioners areleaving the door open for some internal communica-tions between commission-ers and Ellis.“We need to sit down…and work this out,” saidCommissioner 
. “I think there’s opportu-nity to clear this up.”Commissioners proposedgetting their own public
information ofcer after El-
lis’ administration deniedrequests to cover the board’sFebruary budget process.The board voted to usethe funds for its own pub-
lic information ofcer who
would broadcast via the in-ternet all public meetings of the Board of Commissionersand its various committees.
Burke Brennan
, thecounty’s chief communica-
tions ofcer, said the ad-
ministration will “continueto work with the Board of Commissioners and try toaddress their needs and bal-ance them with the county’sneeds.“As the legislationstands now we stand to lose$75,000 out of the DCTV budget, which is going to bevery detrimental to our op-erations,” Brennan said.The board’s plan willgo into effect in July un-less commissioners decideto leave DCTV’s budget in place.“The question is whether there will be four people onthe Board of Commissionersthat will introduce, supportand pass a piece of legisla-tion supporting DCTV be-tween now and July,” Bren-nan said.Commissioner 
 said the board intent was notto be “divisive.”“It was meant to offer more transparency to thegeneral public about the realwork that this board doesduring the committee pro-cess. What the public gener-ally sees is when we take our 
ofcial vote in our ofcial
Board of Commissioners’meetings. The real questions,the real answers and the realdebate…occur during our committee meetings.”Commissioners voted6-1 take the money fromthe CEO’s budget to force aconversation between boardmembers and Ellis “aboutwhat our real needs are,”May said.“We took that step, whichI admit was a drastic step, inorder to get this done,” Maysaid. “Hopefully we can sitdown and come up with aconsensus that allows our meetings to be aired. Thatwas the ultimate point.”
At the rst of the year, thecommissioners’ nance, au-
diting and budget committee,
Page 3A The Champion Free Press, Friday, May 11, 2012
Continued From Page 2A 
Inquisitive employers increasinglydemand Facebook access
 by Nigel Roberts Picture someone on a jobinterview that is going extremelywell. After being unemployed for more than a year, she believed her 
ial nightmare would nally
come to an end. But just beforethe employer reaches across thedesk to shake hands and welcomeher to the team, there is just onemore thing. The employer asksthe candidate to volunteer her Facebook password. What shouldshe do?According to an AssociatedPress report, that scene has becomecommonplace. Employers areincreasingly reviewing Facebook 
 proles, Twitter accounts and other 
social networking sites beforehiring job candidates. To conducttheir search, the news agencyreports, employers are requesting passwords or asking candidatesto log in to their Facebook account on a company computer during interviews. Moreover,some companies are also askingtheir employees to friend humanresources mangers to allow thecompany to monitor postings.Can employers legally demandFacebook passwords and dismissemployees for their privateexchanges with Facebook friends?“Yes,” said DeKalb attorney
CaryS. King
. Georgia is an at-willemployment state, explained thelabor and employment lawyer,which means that an employer could terminate employment for any reason.“You are at the mercy of theemployer in Georgia, except inmatters of discrimination or whenthere is an employment contract in place,” he stated. King added thatwhile one has a free speech rightonline, the boss could terminate anemployee for posting disparagingstatements—whether on Facebook or in person.Emory Law School professor 
Charles A. Shanor
said privacyrights in Georgia do not extendto social media content. Shanor,a labor and employment expert,said that in the absence of federal privacy laws with regard to socialmedia, state lawmakers must passa statute that bars employers from
ring employees who refuse to
share their passwords. And jobseekers who refuse to share their  passwords “just don’t get hired”
and have to nd employment
elsewhere, he said.
It is difcult to know the
exact pervasiveness of employer Facebook monitoring, but Shanor suspects that it is particularlywidespread in jobs involvingsecurity.Three years ago, CareerBuilder.com conducted a wide survey of hiring managers and reported that45 percent of employers admittedusing social networking sites toscreen potential employees. Andaccording to a survey released last
year by Proskauer Rose, a law rm
that practices privacy law, oneout of four businesses admitted tomonitoring employee use of socialnetworking sites.Following the Associated Pressreport, Facebook’s chief privacy
Erin Egan
, posted astatement that blasted employersfor pressuring employees and jobseekers for their password.He advised users: “If you are aFacebook user, you should never have to share your password, letanyone access your account or doanything that might jeopardize thesecurity of your account or violatethe privacy of your friends.”Egan also warned employersabout possible liability lawsuits.King agreed. “In my opinion, itis risky for the employer becausethere is no legal basis to requiresomeone to turn over their  password,” he said. “It is likedemanding that you turn over your wife’s medical records or else be
Maryland recently became
the rst state to bar employers
from requiring workers and jobapplicants to turn over passwordsas a condition of employment.Privacy rights advocates praisedthe legislation for setting limits onemployers’ reach into the privatelives of their workers, as well asthe lives of their workers’ familyand friends.Shanor said no such protectionexists at the federal level.However, U.S. Senators
CharlesE. Schumer
(D-NY) and
(D-Conn.) haveasked the U.S. Department of Justice and the Equal EmploymentOpportunity Commission to launchan investigation into the growing practice of demanding Facebook  passwords.Still, there is a question as tothe extent of such a federal ban.“Should it be limited to Facebook,or should it include e-mail andonline banking passwords too?”Shanor asked.He underscored that manyemployers have a legitimateconcern about employees revealingcompany secrets online. In somecases, an employer who fails toconduct a thorough backgroundcheck could be held liable for thecriminal actions of their employees,Shanor explained.In the end, most expertsagree: There is no real privacy onFacebook, so people should becareful about what they post. ButKing added, “You should be able toexpect not to have to turn over your  password.”
chaired by May, requested that thecommittee’s meetings about the 2012 budget be televised on DCTV, whichis shown on Comcast channel 23.DCTV’s response was that cover-ing the additional meetings wouldadversely affect its onging opera-tions, according to an internal memo.When commissioners could notget additional airtime on DCTV,Boyer spent less than $400 to setup Board of Commissioners TV, anonline site with streaming and on-demand video of commissioners’committee meetings.Ellis’ April 30 veto states thatmoving the funds would also takeaway a $75,000 reimbursement fromthe county’s special tax district unin-corporated fund.“At a time when the county faces
a number of potential adverse nan-
cial impacts…it would be irrespon-sible to burden the tax funds withan additional $75,000 expenditure,”Ellis stated in a memo to commis-sioners.Ellis also said that “the operationof broadcast, digital and cable televi-sion services by the Board of Com-missioners violates” the county’sorganizational act.“If there are some resources thatthe board needs in order to imple-
ment a public information ofcer 
function we may be able to sup- port [it], but we’ve got to be able to
have a discussion rst and foremost
about where the funds could poten-tially come from and how we do thatwithout impacting our tax funds andour revenue picture,” Ellis told
.“What I understand is that the board has now passed this ordinance,made it effective July 1 so that theycan have an opportunity to sit with
the chief communications ofcer and
have some direction over how heoperates [DeKalb County TV] andcommunications,” Ellis said.This is against the county’s orga-nizational act, he said.Ellis said commissioners shouldhave approached him about their communications needs before votingto take the money.“They didn’t talk to me about it,”Ellis said. “To my knowledge, I’venever had a commissioner come tome and say, ‘We’d like to put our committee meetings on television.’I’ve never had a request for that.”May agreed that there was notmuch face-to-face talk between himand Ellis.“The CEO and I rarely talk,” Maysaid. “I feel like if I’m talking to hisstaff, his department heads, his ex-ecutive assistants, then I’m talking tothe CEO.”Ellis said DCTV has alreadyimplemented some of the program-ming requested by commissioners,including Commissioner’s Corner,which highlights the work of com-missioners.“Probably, at the end of the day,we’re going to do a lot of what the board has asked us to do,” Ellis said.

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