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July 10, 2014;

One Stop Portal Receives Praise and Award;


The Kentucky Business One Stop Portal, the Commonwealth’s online, unified point of entry for business owners and their delegates, received the 2014 Best IT Collaboration Among Organizations Award at the Kentucky Digital Government Summit. The Award is given to an individual or organization that has demonstrated special, coordinated efforts on technological projects, data sharing, and other governing initiatives.

The Kentucky Business One Stop Portal,, was established by the General Assembly in 2010. Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, Kentucky’s chief business official, is working to improve and expand the Portal in collaboration with the Finance and Administration Cabinet, the Cabinet for Economic Development and the Commonwealth Office of Technology.

By integrating registration, filing and other processes, the Portal removes the need for businesses to navigate numerous agencies to open and operate in the Commonwealth. This consolidation of functions reduces confusion, redundancy and inconsistencies, and it has already resulted in time savings of up to 75 percent for processing business registrations.

“The One Stop Portal exemplifies what government should be about – multiple agencies working together to improve efficiency and effectiveness,” said Grimes. “I am proud that the Kentucky Digital Government Summit recognized the great work our team is doing, and I appreciate our partner agencies’ cooperation as we continue to expand the One-Stop Portal and ensure Kentucky is truly open for business.”

Presenting the award, the Kentucky Digital Government Summit noted that the Portal “agencies have achieved unprecedented collaboration through consolidation of demographic data,” and their “partnership creates a ‘business friendly face’ for the Commonwealth and is a model for Governor Beshear’s goal of ‘Putting Kentucky First.’”

In addition to streamlining registration and filing processes, the Portal provides useful tools and information for planning and operating a business in Kentucky. The “Plan My Business” section includes research support, mentoring information, and a wizard and template to help create a business plan. There is also information about taxes, insurance, and annual reporting requirements on the Portal.


Thursday, July 3, 2014;

ProPublica: Journalism in the Public Interest


A Disappearing Planet

by Anna Flagg, Special to ProPublica


Today's extinction rates rival those during the mass extinction event that wiped out the dinosaurs 65 million years ago.

CLICK on turtle for story...


China may build an undersea train to America



China is planning to build a train line that would, in theory, connect Beijing to the United States.

According to a report inthe Beijing Times, citing an expert at the Chinese Academy of Engineering, Chinese officials are considering a route that would start in the country's northeast, thread through eastern Siberia and cross the Bering Strait via a 125-mile long underwater tunnel into Alaska.

China to America underground traiChina to America underground trai"Right now we're already in discussions. Russia has already been thinking about this for many years," says Wang Mengshu, the engineer cited in the article. The proposed "China-Russia-Canada-America" line would be some 8,000 miles long, 1,800 miles longer than the Trans-Siberian railroad. The tunnel that the Chinese would help bore beneath the icy seas would be four times the length of what traverses the English Channel.

That's reason enough to be skeptical of the project, of which there are few details beyond what was attributed to the one official cited by the state-run Beijing Times.

Meanwhile, a report in the state-run China Daily insists the country does have the technology and means to complete a construction project of this scale, including another tunnel that would link the Chinese province of Fujian with nearby Taiwan.

In the past half decade or so, China has embarked on an astonishing rail construction spree, laying down tens of thousands of miles tracks and launching myriad high-speed lines. It has signaled its intent to build a "New Silk Road" -- a heavy-duty freight network through Central Asia that would connect with Europe via rail rather than the old caravans that once bridged West and East. A map that appeared on Xinhua's news site outlines the route below, alongside a parallel vision for a "maritime Silk Road."

SilkRoad - mapSilkRoad - map

Screengrab from


While some of its neighbors watch China's rise warily, the main plank of Beijing's soft power pitch has always been its stated desire to improve economic ties and trade with virtually everyone.

"China’s wisdom for building an open world economy and open international relations is being drawn on more and more each day," trumpets the Xinhua report that accompanies the map above, according to the Diplomat.

To that end, Beijing has assiduously resurrected the narrative of the ancient Silk Road as well as given prime billing to the tales of China's famed Ming dynasty treasure fleets, which sailed all across the Indian Ocean. Seen in such grand historic perspective, a tunnel to Alaska doesn't seem too far-fetched.

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