Get Answers to Your Questions About the New USAJobs Site
Earlier this month, USAJOBS3.0, the central place to find job listings, was launched to make it easier to find and apply for federal jobs. However, since the launch of this new version of the site, some people have experienced problems.
The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) manages USAJOBS, and they are working to improve the system to make it easier for you to find job vacancies that interest you.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and Department of Education have sketched out an idea that they think could improve the way schools communicate financial aid offers to students. They want to know what you think. Share your comments and rank features to improve student financial aid.
If you’re struggling to pay your student loans, the student debt repayment assistant may be able to help. Answer a few questions about your loans and ability to pay, and the assistant will help you find the best repayment option.
The last week of October is recognized as Red Ribbon Week, to encourage people to live a drug-free life. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration works with community coalitions and prevention groups to plan Red Ribbon activities, ranging from classroom events to stadium-sized rallies.
Red Ribbon Week is held in honor of DEA Special Agent Enriqué “Kiki” Camarena, who was killed in 1985 in Mexico when staking out an illegal drug operation. In 1988, the National Family Partnership coordinated the first National Red Ribbon Week with President and Mrs. Reagan serving as honorary chairpersons.
You can participate in Red Ribbon Week by wearing a red ribbon and getting involved in community-wide, drug-free events. By working with law enforcement to prevent drug abuse, you can help ensure your community will thrive and be less susceptible to crime.
The cost of Forever stamps will increase by 1 cent on January 22, 2012. This means sending a First-Class letter will soon cost 45 cents. This is the first price increase for Forever stamps since May 2009.
Once purchased, Forever stamps can always be used to send a one ounce, First-Class letter, no matter how many times the price of the stamp changes in the future. You do not need to add an additional 1 cent stamp.
Other First-Class mail prices are also increasing:
Letters (1 oz.) will cost 45 cents. This is a 1-cent increase.
Additional ounces for letters will remain unchanged at 20 cents.
Postcards will increase 3 cents to 32 cents.
Letters to Canada or Mexico will cost 85 cents. This is a 5 cent increase.
Letters to other international destinations will increase 7 cents to cost $1.05.
Prices also will change for other mailing services, including standard mail, periodicals, package services, and extra services.
Use these tips to avoid safety scares this Halloween.
Pick visible costumes
Pick brightly colored costumes. It will be easier for cars to see you on dark roads. If you want to wear dark colors, stick some reflective tape on the costumes to make them more noticeable. You can also put reflective tape on candy bags and or carry a flashlight.
Use face paint instead of a mask
Masks can obstruct vision, so face paint could be a better option. If you decide to use face paint, follow the directions on the packaging closely. You may want to test the face paint a few days before Halloween to make sure it doesn’t irritate your skin. And make sure to avoid eyes when you apply it.
Don’t snack while trick-or-treating
Wait until you get home so that you have a chance to inspect your candy. Toss out any candy with opened or damaged wrappers and homemade treats, unless you know the giver personally.
Find an alternative to candles
Consider using a glow stick or battery-powered lights instead of candles in luminaries or jack-o-lanterns, especially around little kids who could get burned or drapery that could catch fire. Make sure your Halloween costumes are flame resistant in case a cape or other part of the costume comes near an open flame.
The 2012 Women’s Health Calendar offers information about common health concerns for women, risk factors for disease, and ways to take charge of your health. It will help you stay organized and healthy.
Many Preventive Screenings Offered At No Cost Under Affordable Care Act
The Affordable Care Act was passed by Congress and signed into law on March 23, 2010. Many insurance plans are now required to cover the full cost of preventive services, like medical screenings and vaccines.
Some of the screenings covered include
Type 2 Diabetes
Talk to your insurance provider to find out what is covered under your plan. Many of these screenings are covered at no cost under Medicare. Medicaid patients should check with their state to see what is covered.
This October is Energy Awareness Month, and it is a good time to go over your energy routine and think of ways to conserve energy in your home and daily life.
Pay attention to the energy use in your home so you can monitor how much you are using. Simply unplugging some large energy consumers when they are not in use, such as home entertainment systems, and turning off lights when you leave a room, can save you money on your utility bill each month.
Stay up-to-date on new appliances and technologies that save energy and money, so that when it comes time to replace something, you know the most energy friendly options. You can find information on energy efficient appliances at EnergyStar.gov.
You can also help your kids understand the importance of energy conservation by teaching them how they can make a difference and why it is important to care about preserving our planet. Energy Star Kids is a fun, interactive, and educational tool your kids can explore.
Decorative contact lenses are lenses people use to change the color or design of their eyes. These lenses can be a solid color, or have an image, such as a star, to change the look of your eyes, and are often used as a part of a costume.
The lenses do not improve vision like normal contacts, but are generally used for cosmetic reasons. All contact lenses, including decorative ones, are considered medical devices and require a prescription from a doctor.
Just like other contact lenses, decorative lenses must be measured to fit your eyes correctly. They are not “one size fits all.”
Decorative contact lenses sold over-the-counter are illegal and can cause serious eye problems such as:
Scratches on your cornea
If you want to safely purchase decorative lenses, get a prescription from an eye doctor that includes a brand, size and expiration date for your lenses, and follow the cleaning and care instructions your doctor gives you.
Laws Regulating Cellphone Use in Cars Vary by State
In the last few years, many states have passed laws about how drivers can use cellphones while in their cars. Each state’s laws are slightly different. Here’s a general overview of what you need to know about cellphone use in cars.
Handheld Cell Phones: Nine states, Washington D.C. and the Virgin Islands prohibit all drivers from using handheld cell phones while driving.
All Cell Phone Use: No state bans all cell phone use for all drivers, but many prohibit cell phone use by novice drivers and school bus drivers.
Text Messaging: 34 states, Washington D.C. and Guam ban text messaging for all drivers. Three states restrict school bus drivers from texting while driving.
Some states such as Maine, New Hampshire and Utah treat cell phone use and texting as part of a larger distracted driving issue. In Utah, cellphone use is an offense only if a driver is also committing some other moving violation (other than speeding).
Every year some 700,000 people become U.S. citizens at naturalization ceremonies across the country.
By taking the Oath of Allegiance new citizens pledge to be faithful to the Constitution and to serve their new country when needed. In exchange they will enjoy many of the benefits and privileges of being a United States citizen, including the following:
Bringing Family Members
U.S. citizens can help overseas family members legally immigrate to the United States. In fact, the relatives of citizens are generally given priority by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. Also, children under age 18 are automatically given U.S. citizenship when their parents become citizens.
Right to Vote
Direct participation in democratic elections is one of the most important privileges that this country offers its citizens. Only U.S. citizens have the right to vote in federal elections and to be candidates in most local, state and federal elections.
The United States protects its citizens abroad through its embassies and consulates. The U.S. government assists citizens who are victims of crime overseas and provides assistance to U.S. citizens abroad in the case of international disasters or emergencies.
Access to More Jobs
The federal government is one of the biggest employers in the world and offers many job opportunities in a wide range of industries. Job openings are published on USA Jobs.gov. However, the majority of federal jobs require that the applicant be a U.S. citizen.
Participating in a Federal Jury
One of the most important civic responsibilities of citizenship is participating in a federal jury. Members of the jury help determine the innocence or guilt of the accused. Federal jurors are selected at random from databases such as voting and driver license lists.
More Student Aid
The federal government has different types of financial assistance for students, including scholarships and grants that are open exclusively to U.S. citizens.
Watch this video to learn more about the benefits of becoming a U.S. citizen.
Seven Ways to Prevent Furniture Tip-Over Accidents in Your Home
Furniture and TV tip-over incidents are one of the top hidden hazards in the home. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) encourages you to inspect and anchor furniture and TVs in order to protect young children from a preventable tragedy.
Between 2000 and 2010, the CPSC received reports of 245 tip-over-related deaths, and more than 90 percent involved children 5 and younger. The majority of these children suffered fatal injuries to the head.
You can prevent tip-over accidents by following these safety tips in any home where children live or visit:
Anchor furniture to the wall or the floor.
Place TVs on sturdy, low bases.
Push the TV as far back on the furniture as possible.
Keep remote controls, toys, and other items that might attract children off TV stands or furniture.
Keep cable cords out of reach of children.
Make sure freestanding kitchen ranges and stoves are installed with anti-tip brackets.
Supervise children in rooms where these safety tips have not been followed.
More than 4,000 Americans die each year in fires. Most of these deaths can be prevented by having a working smoke alarm. As a part of Fire Prevention Week 2011, the Federal Emergency Management Agency is sharing tips for keeping your home and family safe.
Here are four simple things you can do today to be ready for a fire:
Install smoke alarms on every level of your home
Test smoke alarms once a month
Be sure to change smoke alarm batteries at least once a year
Make and practice your family’s fire escape plan
Follow FEMA on Facebook and Twitter to get more safety tips throughout the rest of the week.
From the Food and Drug Administration’s Office of Women’s Health:
The FDA’s Office of Women’s Health launched the Pink Ribbon Sunday program to educate African American and Hispanic women about early detection of breast cancer through mammography. The program strives to reduce breast cancer health disparities by empowering community leaders to develop mammography awareness programs tailored to the needs of their region. Activities have ranged from mobile mammography events and health fairs to “Pink” luncheons and concerts.
Order your free resources now to begin planning a Pink Ribbon event for your community.
Every year, on the second Monday of October, the United States celebrates Christopher Columbus’ landing in the Americas. Columbus’ official siting of new land was October 12, 1492.
Columbus, a native of Italy, scoured Europe for royal sponsors of his expedition to find the New World. Finally, in 1492, Isabella I of Spain funded his trip. Columbus took off from Spain in August 1492 with 90 men on three now very famous ships – the Santa Maria, the Nina and the Pinta. Aiming for India, after five weeks at sea, Columbus landed on the islands in the Caribbean.
The first official Columbus Day holiday in the United States was on the 400th anniversary in 1892. President Benjamin Harrison issued a proclamation to celebrate the holiday and described Columbus as “the pioneer of progress and enlightenment.”
Italians, Spaniards and Americans across the world honor Columbus on this day for his daring contributions and discovery of the Americas.
Image description: This moth was found trapped in the Mark II Aiken Relay Calculator while it was being tested at Harvard University on September 9, 1945. Image courtesy of the U.S. Naval Historical Center.
Today is Ada Lovelace Day, a day to celebrate achievements of women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. There are many women in government who have made notable contributions to these fields.
One such woman is Naval Rear Admiral Grace Murray Hopper, also known as “Amazing Grace.” She conceptualized one of the first computer programming languages and is generally credited with popularizing the term “debugging” for fixing computer glitches – which was motivated by including an actual moth removed from the computer in the log book.
When you spend time online, you could unknowingly be putting your personal information at risk and making it easier for someone to steal your identity.
Use these tips to help keep your personal information safe online:
Choose strong passwords: Make sure your passwords have a mix of letters, numbers and special characters, if the site you’re registering for allows it. And don’t use the same password across multiple sites. If one site gets hacked, the hacker will be able to access your information through accounts that use the same password.
Access personal information from a secure connection: When using a free, public Wi-Fi hotspot, only log in or send personal information to sites you know are fully encrypted. Look for https at the beginning of the web address (the “s” is for secure) and a lock icon at the top or bottom of your browser window. Log out of every site before signing off.
If you are active or reserve military and your service was extended under stop loss between September 11, 2001 and September 30, 2009, you’re eligible for $500 per month in retroactive pay. Find how to apply.