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In Brief for July 16, 2008

In Brief for July 16, 2008

Foil balloons under attack Charging that helium-filled foil balloons caused more than 800 power outages in California last year, a state legislator is pushing a bill to ban them. Once aloft, the balloons can hit and then short-circuit power lines. The measure cleared the state Senate and is being considered today in the Assembly. The balloon industry--already buffeted by rising helium costs--is fighting back, saying such a ban would cost the state $80 million in lost sales tax revenue and 20,000 jobs …

Massachusetts poised to broaden same-sex marriages Out-of-state same-sex couples could wed in Massachusetts just as residents can if a bill OK'd by the state Senate also passes the House. A vote could come this week. The state sanctioned weddings by resident same-sex couples in 2004, but a 1913 law barring out-of-state couples from marrying there--a rule said by some critics was originally aimed at stopping interracial marriages--stood in the way of nonresidents. California approved same-sex unions for both residents and nonresidents in May …

AGME announces 'green' certification Atlanta-based Association for Green Meetings & Events announced in June it will begin offering the "first-ever" Certification in Green Meetings and Events. The 25-hour process is designed to assist meeting and event professionals in "reaching the goal of acceptable intelligibility in planning, promoting and producing socially and environmentally responsible meetings and special events," the organization said in a statement. For more information, call 888/447-0555, ext. 2.

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