Thursday, September 24, 2009

National Punctuation Day - Today, Sept. 24th

National Punctuation Day:

Think an ellipsis is when the moon moves in front of the sun?

Well, today is National Punctuation Day, and as someone for whom punctuation does not come easily, I'm not so sure it's a day to celebrate. It's probably more a consciousness-raising day. But, however you feel about punctuation, you may enjoy founder Jeff Rubin's advice about how to celebrate National Punctuation Day today:

Here’s a game plan for your celebration of National Punctuation Day®. A few words of caution: Don’t overdo it.

  • Sleep late.
  • Take a long shower or bath.
  • Go out for coffee and a bagel (or two).
  • Read a newspaper and circle all of the punctuation errors you find (or think you find, but aren’t sure) with a red pen.
  • Take a leisurely stroll, paying close attention to store signs with incorrectly punctuated words.
  • Stop in those stores to correct the owners.
  • If the owners are not there, leave notes.
  • Visit a bookstore and purchase a copy of Strunk & White’s The Elements of Style.
  • Look up all the words you circled.
  • Congratulate yourself on becoming a better written communicator.
  • Go home.
  • Sit down.
  • Write an error-free letter to a friend.
  • Take a nap. It has been a long day.
Visit their site for lots of information, pictures submitted by readers of egregious punctuation errors on signs, punctuation games, and plenty more.

Well, I'm off to look up all the punctuation I circled that I'm unsure of. There are lots of red circles on the articles I read this morning.

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Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Federal Grand Jury Returns Charges Against Grant Writer

Last year we reported on the investigation of Jean Cross, her alleged forgeries, and her $5M fee (15% of the grant). Thanks to an anonymous comment on my "About" page, here's an update.

The money was returned. The investigation moved from the State to the Feds. And now, the Grand Jury has indicted her. If found guilty -- up to 35 years in prison.

The interesting thing is that the investigation is closed without others being charged. I guess that's why some clients are so ready to pay a percentage of the take. It seems only the grant writer is at risk.

Image: A page of the Indio Youth Task Force's grant application to the state shows some of the 32 allegedly forged signatures.
Writer of local grant indicted | | The Desert Sun: "A federal grand jury has indicted grant writer Jean Michele Cross on charges stemming from her involvement in a $35million-plus federal grant that had to be returned.

Cross is charged with mail fraud, document forgery to obtain money and making false statements.

According to a federal grand jury indictment, Cross altered and forged signatures and documents in the grant application and omitted her 15 percent fee from the projected grant budget.

She faces a maximum sentence of 35 years in federal prison if convicted of all charges."

If you prepare Federal applications, you know that the budget cannot include work prior to the contract start date, which is why she wouldn't have included her contract in the grant budget. It will be interesting to see how her contract was structured, who was aware of the terms, and the number of times and amount of money she earned with this type of contract in the past.

To read the local news accounts: