National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) Condemns Government Shutdown

control tower

control towerWASHINGTON – The National Air Traffic Controllers Association today condemned the shutdown of the federal government and called on Congress to end it immediately.

As a result of the shutdown, 3,000 of NATCA’s aviation safety professionals, vital to the daily function, maintenance and safety of the National Airspace System (NAS) have been furloughed. 

“It is unacceptable that thousands of our aviation safety professionals have been forced to stay home due to partisan posturing in Congress,” said NATCA President Paul Rinaldi. “I implore Congress to reach an agreement to end this shutdown, which is hurtful to our nation’s aviation system, our economy and the American people.”

During the shutdown, air traffic controllers are working without pay, but essential support staff specialists have been furloughed. Rinaldi said this is akin to a surgeon performing an operation without any staff to prep the room, clean the equipment or provide support during the surgery. In addition, controllers who train new hires will be unable to continue much of the training process. This could result in high controller attrition as frustrated trainees fall further behind in the training process. Controller hiring was already frozen due to sequestration.

Below are just a few of the thousands of projects that will be delayed or halted due to the government shutdown and furloughing of aviation safety professionals.

  • A delay in the opening of a new runway at Chicago O’Hare Airport.
  • A flight inspection scheduled for Janesville, Wis., Airport has been shut down due to the furlough of key personnel. Without an inspection, the approach into the airport will eventually be declared inoperative. This results in inefficiency for air traffic controllers and pilots, and a reduction in the margin of safety.
  • Thousands of certification projects performed by NATCA Aircraft Certification Engineers are now suspended.
  • A halt in the ELD Power Cable Replacement at Dallas Fort Worth Airport (DFW). The cable supplies power to the navigational aids on the diagonal runways at DFW. Construction planned for January will now be delayed for an undetermined amount of time.
  • A hold on hundreds of Aircraft Certification Office projects. This will result in a delay in the approval of safety related equipment modifications to aircraft going through the certification process.
  • A stop for work on Airworthiness Directives, NTSB safety recommendations and other vital safety related work performed by Aircraft Certification Engineers. This could delay the issuance and implementation of mandated safety fixes to aircraft.
  •  A delay of all projects affecting surveillance radars that feed the 100 busiest airports in the NAS.
  •  A halt in the development and implementation of navigational aids for a new runway at Fort Lauderdale airport.
  •  A halt on several runway safety projects, including glide slope relocation at Long Beach, Calif.
  • A delay in major mechanical upgrades scheduled for three air traffic control En Route Centers.

NATCA MEDIA CONTACT: Sarah Dunn, 315-796-1560

Kuster, FEMA to Host Fire Fighter Grant Workshops Across New Hampshire

Ann-Kuster (1)

Kuster, FEMA to Host Fire Fighter Grant Workshops Across New Hampshire

Workshops aim to help local fire departments obtain critical equipment, resources

CONCORD, N.H.  – This week, Congresswoman Annie Kuster (NH-02) is encouraging fire fighters across New Hampshire to attend grant workshops to help them obtain equipment and resources necessary to keep local communities safe. The workshops, hosted in conjunction with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will help fire department officials prepare their grant applications to the federal Assistance to Firefighter Grant program (AFG), which helps fire fighters and first responders acquire protective gear, emergency vehicles, and other critical equipment and resources.

“Each day, our emergency responders put their lives on the line to keep us safe,” Kuster said. “I eagerly await the opportunity to support these applications and to make sure New Hampshire’s fire fighters are equipped to serve our communities at the highest level.”

FEMA officials will host three workshops throughout the week – one in Lancaster (on monday 9-23) and two in Concord. All workshops are open to all fire departments and other emergency response agencies across New Hampshire.

Thursday, September 23, 1:00 p.m.; and 6:00 p.m.
Concord Fire Academy
98 Smokey Bear Road, Concord, NH

Additional information about the AFG program is available here. For more information about the AFG workshops, please call Kuster’s Concord office at (603) 226-1002.

Governor Hassan Directs Flags to Half-Staff on Wednesday, Proclaims 9/11 Remembrance Day

Maggie Hassan

Maggie HassanGovernor Maggie Hassan has directed flags to half-staff on Wednesday, September 11, 2013, and proclaimed Wednesday as a Day of Remembrance in honor of the tragic terrorist attacks 12 years ago.

“We will never forget the events of September 11, 2001, one of the darkest days in our nation’s history, but a day that demonstrated our collective resilience in the face of great tragedy,” Governor Hassan said. “We remember the innocent victims of those senseless terrorist attacks, holding them and their families in our thoughts and prayers. We honor the first responders and all of the brave men and women who rushed into the burning towers or sacrificed themselves in a Pennsylvania field to protect the lives of people they never met. And we remain forever grateful for our men and women in uniform and those who have made the ultimate sacrifice so that our country can be safer and our freedom can be stronger. We remember these people and these events so that we can rededicate ourselves to the principles that make our state and country so strong, the principles that unite us in our resolve to be free.”

To pay tribute to those who lost their lives on September 11, 2001, and in the ensuing conflicts, Governor Hassan will speak at three remembrance ceremonies: the Beech Street School 9/11 Remembrance Program in Manchester, the American Legion Post 33 Patriot Day “We Will Remember” September 11 Commemoration in Meredith, and the American Legion Post 35 Global War on Terrorism Monument Unveiling and Rededication in Hampton.

9-11-remembrance-day

NH Congresswomen Weigh In On The So-Called “Full Faith and Credit Act”

Ann kuster head shot LG

Carol Shea-Porter_Official.2010-300x288WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the House of Representatives voted on H.R. 807, a bill that would ensure Chinese bondholders are paid before American soldiers in the case of a government default.

After the vote, Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter issued the following statement:

“I strongly oppose this deeply irresponsible legislation. Middle class families can’t pick and choose which bills to pay, and neither should Congress. 

“H.R. 807 guarantees that if Republicans push our nation into default, bondholders from China and the Cayman Islands would be paid before America’s veterans, Medicare providers, and small businesses. 

“Instead of playing chicken with our nation’s credit rating, Congress should act responsibly and pay the bills that it has incurred.  I, once again, call on Speaker Boehner to appoint budget conferees so Congress can compromise on a sensible budget that ends sequestration, helps create jobs, and responsibly reduces the deficit.”

Congresswoman Annie Kuster also released a statement after her vote:

Ann kuster head shot LG“This bill is nothing more than a plan to default on our nation’s obligations, plain and simple,” Kuster said. “It sets the stage for yet another manufactured crisis that would prioritize payments to China and other foreign creditors over our obligations to seniors on Medicare, veterans, and the men and women of our Armed Forces.”

“Rather than simply bracing for default, both parties need to work together to reduce the deficit in a balanced way that will help create jobs, grow the economy, and strengthen the middle class,” Kuster added. “As we do, Congress must reassure creditors and the American people that our government will continue to meet its obligations and avoid a catastrophic default. Any suggestion that we would even consider doing otherwise would be irresponsible, undermine confidence in our government, and put our credit rating at risk.”

 

TODAY: Coalition of New Hampshire Taxpayers, Educators to Call for Repeal of Misguided Education Voucher Law

Concord – Thursday, a broad coalition of New Hampshire educators, taxpayers and concerned citizens will hold a press conference calling for the repeal of the misguided Bradley-O’Brien education voucher law. The reckless legislation which passed last year despite bipartisan opposition would divert taxpayer funding from public schools into an account for private and religious schools.

Earlier this year, the New Hampshire House passed a responsible repeal of the damaging legislation. The repeal is scheduled to be voted on in the state Senate next week, and speakers will detail efforts currently underway to ensure the Senate votes to protect public education including a petition launched this morning at NHDP.org/Protect-NH-Public-Schools.

What: Coalition of New Hampshire taxpayers, educators, and concerned parents will call for repeal of the misguided Bradley-O’Brien education voucher law

Who: Scott McGilvray NEA New Hampshire President, State Representative Lorrie Carey, and Bill Duncan, President Defending New Hampshire Public Education

When: Today, Thursday, April 11 at 12:00 Noon

Hassan Applauds House For Passing FY 14/15 Budget, However There Is Still Work To Do

Maggie Hassan

CONCORD – Governor Maggie Hassan released the following statement today on passage by the House of Representatives of their FY 14/15 budget:

“Today’s passage of the House budget plan is another step forward in the legislature’s budget process. I appreciate the hard work by members of the House to develop their plan, and in many cases their funding priorities align with those in our balanced budget proposal, especially in taking steps to address our strained mental health system and to restore investments in New Hampshire’s community colleges.

“However, significant work remains in order to finalize a responsible, balanced budget that reinvests in the priorities needed for job creation and innovative economic growth. The House budget as it stands falls short of our balanced budget proposal in key areas that are critical for strengthening our economy and improving the health and well-being of our people.

“The cuts made to our restoration of university system funding put at risk the proposed tuition freeze at our public universities, making it more difficult for our young people to afford a higher education in New Hampshire.

“A top priority of our budget proposal was to begin to reverse the last legislature’s tax increase on hospitals, which is straining their operations and hindering our ability to move forward with strengthening our health care system. Unfortunately, the House budget goes in the opposite direction, relying more heavily on hospital taxes to pay for the general fund.

“I also have concerns that the back-of-the-budget cuts to Health and Human Services, combined with optimistic caseload levels, will force cuts to critical services. And cuts to school building aid will hurt the ability of our local school districts to provide the educational facilities our children need.

“The House budget recognizes that a number of these changes from our budget proposal are problematic, which is why it includes language calling for restoration of these funds if SB 152 is passed. We can address the challenges of the House budget by moving forward with a plan to license one high-end, highly regulated casino that will help us invest in our priorities. I look forward to continuing the dialogue with members of the House as they consider SB 152, and to working with both chambers to ensure that the next budget responsibly lays the foundation to build a stronger, more innovative New Hampshire.”

Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter Calls For Action on Sequester!

Shea-Porter Speaks to US HOUSE

Congresswoman Shea-Porter speaks to the floor of the US House about working together to stop the automatic sequester cuts that are looming.  This friday is the deadline and yet the US House has not held a vote on either of the submitted bills that could stop this from happening.

Congresswoman Shea-Porter is right. Congress must act now to avoid these economy crushing cuts.  Working families throughout the country will be harmed by their inaction in Washington. This inaction will only solidify the belief that the Republicans in Congress is only out for themselves and are willing to once again hold the country and the economy hostage for their own gains.

LTE: ‘Fox’ The Debt; Corporations Pushing For Cuts To Social Security and Medicare

NHLN Editors note: This is an LTE from Caroline French of Dover, talking about the Fix The Debt Campaign.

‘Fox’ the Debt?

To the editor:

Peter G. Peterson is a Wall Street billionaire who has been using his money for years trying to slash earned benefit programs such as Social Security and Medicare. Fix the Debt is his latest trick to attack seniors. He loves to go after Social Security and Medicare under the pretense of fixing the nation’s “debt problem.” He has spent millions of his own dollars trying to make sure that rich people stay rich.

Blowing the cover on Fix the Debt should be a goal of every senior citizen in New Hampshire. Fight back. Tell Republicans and Democrats alike who support this trick the truth about your earned benefits and the evil doers who want to take your earned benefits away.

The debt will be fixed by a strong economy, job growth and making things in this country again. The word “fox” used as a verb means to trick. These Fix the Debt people are trying to fox the debt on the backs of Social Security and Medicare.

Caroline L. French

Dover

 

Also published by Fosters

REP Kuster Calls for Balanced, Bipartisan Plan to Avert Automatic Spending Cuts (VIDEO)

Rep Annie Kuster in US House


Highlights new report showing middle class New Hampshire families will pay the price without it.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congresswoman Annie Kuster (NH-02) spoke on the House floor last night about the need for Republicans and Democrats to work together on a balanced, bipartisan plan to avert the automatic spending cuts that are scheduled to take effect on March 1. If Congress fails to act, these devastating cuts will hurt middle class families, undermine our economy, and threaten our national security.

“If Congress fails to act, the sequester is going to trigger mindless, across-the-board cuts that will hurt middle class New Hampshire families and undermine our economy,” Kuster said. “There’s no question we need to reduce the deficit. But we have to do it in a balanced way that distinguishes between wasteful spending we can’t afford to keep and critical investments we can’t afford to cut.”

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that these automatic spending cuts would reduce economic growth by half in 2013 and cost up to 1.4 million jobs nationwide. A recent study by George Mason University estimated that New Hampshire would lose more than 6,300 jobs. On Sunday, the White House issued a new report outlining the devastating impacts these automatic cuts would have on middle class New Hampshire families over the next year alone:

·         Teachers and Schools: New Hampshire will lose approximately $1,078,000 in funding for primary and secondary education, putting teacher and aide jobs at risk. In addition about 1,000 fewer students would be served and approximately 10 fewer schools would receive funding.

·         Military Readiness: In New Hampshire, approximately 1,000 civilian Department of Defense employees would be furloughed, reducing gross pay by around $5.4 million in total.

·         Job Search Assistance to Help those in New Hampshire find Employment and Training: New Hampshire will lose about $138,000 in funding for job search assistance, referral, and placement, meaning around 4,950 fewer people will get the help and skills they need to find employment.

·         Work-Study Jobs: Around 120 fewer low income students in New Hampshire would receive aid to help them finance the costs of college and around 130 fewer students will get work-study jobs that help them pay for college.

·         Child Care: Up to 100 disadvantaged and vulnerable children could lose access to child care, which is also essential for working parents to hold down a job.

·         Vaccines for Children: In New Hampshire around 680 fewer children will receive vaccines for diseases such as measles, mumps, rubella, tetanus, whooping cough, influenza, and Hepatitis B due to reduced funding for vaccinations of about $46,000.

·         STOP Violence Against Women Program: New Hampshire could lose up to $28,000 in funds that provide services to victims of domestic violence, resulting in up to 100 fewer victims being served.

Kuster has repeatedly called on Congress to replace these automatic cuts with a balanced plan to reduce the deficit. Last week, Kuster called on both parties to work together to avert the sequester during a visit to Polartec, which produces uniform and combat clothing for the Department of Defense and would be negatively impacted by the defense  cuts included in the sequester.

Kuster recently wrote an op-ed highlighting the damaging impacts the automatic cuts would have on families and businesses in New Hampshire, and urged Congress to take a more balanced, bipartisan approach to reducing the deficit that will spur job creation, grow the economy, and protect middle class families.

In February, Kuster also helped establish the United Solutions Caucus, a new bipartisan coalition of Republican and Democratic freshman focused on resolving our nation’s fiscal challenges in a common sense, bipartisan way.

NH Citizens Alliance and NH Peace Action RALLY For Cuts To Wasteful Pentagon Spending

Pull The Pork Image

PULL THE PORK FROM THE PENTAGON! NH CITIZENS ALLIANCE & NH PEACE ACTION CALL FOR REINING IN WASTEFUL PENTAGON SPENDING IN ORDER TO INVEST IN AMERICA’S MIDDLE CLASS

Nashua, NH — As part of a National Day of Action across the U.S., NH Citizens Alliance and NH Peace Action will gather in front of the Office of U.S. Senator Kelly Ayotte, 144 Main Street in Nashua on Wednesday, February 27th at noon to demand an end to wasteful Pentagon spending and to call on Congress to shift that spending into health care, education, housing and infrastructure.

“Pull the Pork from the Pentagon: Protect Our Priorities” events are taking place in Nashua, NH and across the country on February 27th. In Nashua, NH Citizens Alliance and NH Peace Action will have a rally with a brief speaking program, a petition signing, and calls to Congress on the spot in support of ending Pentagon waste.

The Feb. 27 National Day of Action is taking place as Congress faces a series of deadlines on our country’s budget priorities, including possible automatic spending cuts scheduled to take place on March 1.

“It’s time for Congress to commit once and for all to ending Pentagon waste and instead shift that spending into housing, health care, education, and infrastructure repair,” said Melissa Bernardin, Coordinator for NH Citizens Alliance’s Campaign to End Pentagon Waste. “We are calling for a fundamental restructuring of our priorities so that we can pay for programs that create jobs and protect our communities.”

Pull the Pork From the Pentagon

What:    Rally to End Pentagon Waste

Where: 144 Main Street, Nashua NH – Office of U.S. Senator Kelly Ayotte

When:   Wednesday, February 27th at Noon

Why:   Pending Congressional action, possible automatic spending cuts scheduled to take place on March 1. With all the attention focused on the national debt and deficit, the American public is paying attention, public opinion supports ending wasteful Pentagon spending, and the time for action is NOW.