SACRAMENTO – Telephone giant AT&T, which spent millions last year to influence legislation giving the company access to California’s cable-television market, gave about $500,000 Tuesday to a private after-school program founded by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. Schwarzenegger, who signed the 2006 cable law, attended a ceremony in San Antonio, where AT&T’s philanthropic arm announced the donation to the governor’s nonprofit After-School All-Stars program. Schwarzenegger founded the national program in 1992 as a way to provide tutoring services and sports to at-risk middle-school students. It has affiliates in 14 cities. For AT&T, Tuesday’s donation followed a 2006 legislative session in which California lawmakers approved a law giving the company and Verizon Communications access to the state’s $5.3 billion-a-year cable-TV market. The law took effect in January. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! In 2006, AT&T gave $744,614 to political candidates and campaigns, including $44,600 to Schwarzenegger. Meanwhile, the company spent $23.6 million to hire lobbyists and pay for television commercials promoting the cable bill. Verizon and its employees contributed $395,347 to political candidates and campaigns, and the company spent $2.3 million on lobbying expenses. The chairman of the after-school program, former San Antonio Mayor Henry Cisneros, a Cabinet member in the Clinton administration, said he sought the donation from AT&T, which is headquartered in the Texas city. “They have been very generous to a range of nonprofit activities, so it made sense for them to support the After-School All-Stars,” Cisneros said. The program serves about 65,000 children in 15 cities, he said. It started out providing sports activities for kids but has been transformed into an academic program, he added.
OTTAWA, O.N. — Representatives from northeastern B.C. are in Ottawa this week to promote LNG in B.C. and speak to federal cabinet ministers.In the group, there is Fort St. John Mayor Lori Ackerman, Northern Rockies Regional Municipality Mayor Bill Streeper, District of Tumbler Ridge Mayor Don McPherson, District of Taylor Mayor Rob Fraser, Dawson Creek City Councillor Charlie Parslow, and Colin Griffith with the NEBC Resource Municipalities Coalition.Bob Zimmer, the member of parliament for Prince George-Peace River-Northern Rockies, is hosting them. He said he’s pleased to have gotten to work together with them in planning the trip.- Advertisement -“It is critical that this government continues to hear about the strong support for BC LNG,” Zimmer said. “This industry is not only vital to the future growth of our local economy, but will also help in reducing global emissions.”According to a press release sent out on Monday, the group met with Minister of Natural Resources Jim Carr; François-Philippe Champagne, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance Bill Morneau; representatives from the office of Amarjeet Sohi, the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, as well as Dianne Watts, the Opposition’s critic of that ministry.“So far, I would say that these meetings have been positive and I am hopeful that our region is being heard,” said Zimmer. More meetings are scheduled to carry on this week.Advertisement He said communities are struggling under the low price of energy, and that he calls again on the Prime Minister to support LNG — and ultimately ‘do the right thing for British Columbia, Canada, and the global environment.’