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(Event Tonight) Clean Energy Transformation Initiative, Lower Your Energy Costs And Save The Planet

On First Day of Spring, Seacoast Communities Launch New Hampshire’s First Clean Energy Transformation Initiative

LAUNCH EVENT:

Monday, March 20th, 7-9pm

Oyster River High School Cafeteria

55 Coe Drive in Durham, NH

DURHAM, NH – Energy leaders from five New Hampshire communities have joined forces to launch Energize 360, a first-of-its-kind campaign to save money and help save the planet by providing citizens a suite of new energy efficiency and clean energy options at bulk discounts.

“Spring is here and there’s no better time for homeowners and businesses to take control of their energy future by availing themselves of proven solutions that save money, lower energy use, and transition to clean renewable energy for the good of our state,” said Daniel Clapp, General Manager of ReVision Energy, the local industry leader in renewable energy solutions and lead Energize 360 vendor chosen through competitive bidding.

Every participant in Energize 360 in the NH Seacoast will get a free site visit, a Home Heating Index score, and a comprehensive analysis of their energy usage specific to their home. Energize 360 offers energy audits, weatherization, solar electric systems, heat pump installations, and more, as well as help qualifying for all available rebates and incentives. 

 “With the cost of solar panels down 75% over the last decade, anyone with a roof or lawn and a clear view to the sun has the potential to generate their own electricity,” Clapp added. “And thanks to complementary technologies offered by Energize 360, you can now use that power to heat your home, charge your vehicle, and power your daily life.”

Energize 360 includes tiered discounts for consumers and pledges to fund clean energy projects in each of the communities of Dover, Durham, Lee, Northwood and Portsmouth. The funds available for community projects and the discounts available to homeowners and business owners both increase as participation in the campaign increases. The program ends June 30th.

Energize 360 is a partnership between Seacoast Regional Energy Hub, Seacoast Area Renewable Energy Initiative (SEAREI), ReVision Energy, and Yankee Thermal Imaging. The participating program vendors were selected by an independent committee through a competitive bidding process that took into consideration competence and cost. Energize 360 discounts cannot be combined with other discounts. 

“It’s exciting to see more and more local communities stepping forward to address high energy costs and chart a more sustainable future through Energize 360 and other innovative campaigns,” concluded Jack Ruderman, Director of Community Solar Initiatives at ReVision Energy. “Why send millions of dollars out of state or overseas for dirty fossil fuels when we can generate our own clean electricity at lower cost on our own roof or backyard?”

RSVPs are encouraged at the March 20th launch event but are not required: https://energize360.eventbrite.com.

Residents interested in participating in the program are encouraged to bring utility and heating fuel bills to launch event. A series of educational events are scheduled after the March 20th launch. For more information on future events and other program questions, please visit energize360.org or call (603) 679-1777.  

AFT-NH Mourns The Loss Of Chief Brian Costa, A Former Union Member And Leader

Last night, Keene Police Chief Brian Costa passed away suddenly.  His years of dedicated public service were highlighted as his former union, and elected leaders, offer their condolences.

“He was a great police officer, with a great love for the city, the people of Keene and his job,” said Keene Mayor Kendall Lane. “He loved being a police officer. I wish I knew more about what happened, but state police are handling everything.”

“It is with great sadness that AFT-NH has learned of the passing of Chief Brian Costa. On behalf of AFT-NH members, we express our deepest sympathy and condolences to the family of Chief Costa and to the members of the Keene Police Department,” said AFT-NH President Douglas Ley.  “Brian came up through the ranks, starting his service as a police officer in 1996 and culminating with being appointed chief in 2015. He was a member of the Keene Police Officers Association and later, president of the Keene Police Supervisors, before becoming chief in 2015. As both union officer and as chief, Brian was dedicated to the brave men and women who served in his department. He never forgot his union roots, and he devoted his life to making his community safer and stronger. We will forever owe him a debt of gratitude for his service. ”

“Chief Brian Costa was an incredible public servant who dedicated himself to bettering his community of Keene and the entire state of New Hampshire,” said Congresswoman Annie Kuster.  “I was deeply saddened to learn of his sudden passing. Chief Costa was a committed leader in addressing the opioid crisis and focused on the need for treatment and recovery services as well as interdiction efforts. I appreciated his counsel, and I was always inspired by his kindness, warm spirit, and commitment to helping others. My heart goes out to his loved ones and the entire Keene community at this difficult time.”

Chief Costa was a leader in addressing the addiction crisis and Congresswoman Kuster was proud to join him for numerous briefings, round tables, and community discussions in Keene and around the state.

“I’m very saddened to hear of Chief Brian Costa’s passing. Chief Costa served Keene for more than two decades and rose through the ranks to become a leader in the fight against the opioid epidemic. I am grateful for his service to the Keene community and to New Hampshire. My thoughts are with his family,” said Senator Jeanne Shaheen.  

“Chief Brian Costa served his community in Keene with distinction, always seeking to help others, and I am very saddened by the news of his passing. From his leadership in combating the heroin, fentanyl, and opioid crisis to his desire to make Keene a welcoming and friendly place for all, Chief Costa has made a difference in the lives of thousands of Granite Staters. Tom and I send our deepest condolences to Chief Costa’s family, and to everyone whose lives he touched,” said Senator Maggie Hassan. 

Senator Hassan Invites NH Medicaid Expansion Advocate To Trump’s Speech Tonight

Senator Hassan Invites Substance Abuse Treatment Advocate Ashley Hurteau as Guest of Honor for President Trump’s Joint Session of Congress Address 

WASHINGTON – Today, Senator Maggie Hassan announced that substance abuse treatment advocate Ashley Hurteau of Dover will be her guest of honor for President Trump’s Joint Session of Congress Address on February 28th in Washington. Ashley is a native Granite Stater now in recovery from heroin addiction after she was able to access substance abuse treatment because of New Hampshire’s bipartisan Medicaid expansion plan. 

As Senator Hassan’s guest of honor, Ashley will join the Senator in the House Chamber for the Joint Session of Congress Address from President Trump. Senator Hassan and Ashley met at the Farnum Center in Manchester last month, where they joined a panel to discuss the harmful impact of repealing the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid expansion on New Hampshire’s efforts to combat the heroin, fentanyl, and opioid crisis. 

“After living with addiction for nearly a decade, Ashley’s life was saved because Medicaid expansion allowed her to access critical substance abuse treatment services,” Senator Hassan said. “Ashley is living proof of the positive impact the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid expansion have had on tens of thousands of Granite Staters, especially those living with addiction. I have been inspired by Ashley’s courage in sharing her story of addiction and her road to recovery, and her bravery must be marked by our action. For Ashley and for the thousands of Granite Staters seeking help in the battle against addiction, I will continue to strongly fight efforts to take away Granite Staters’ health insurance coverage through repealing the Affordable Care Act.” 

“I’m honored to be Senator Hassan’s guest for the Joint Session of Congress Address and to share my story of how Medicaid expansion saved my life,” said Ashley Hurteau. “Because of my health coverage under Medicaid expansion, I am now in recovery, working at Safe Harbor Recovery Center, a program of Granite Pathways, to help others struggling with addiction. I don’t know where I would be today without this health coverage, but I know how critical it is for Granite Staters living with addiction. I am thankful to have a leader like Senator Hassan representing me in the Senate, strongly fighting against efforts to strip away critical health care coverage for those of us who need it most.”

As Governor of New Hampshire, Senator Hassan fought to pass and reauthorize Medicaid expansion, which provides critical behavioral health and substance abuse treatment coverage for tens of thousands of Granite Staters. As a member of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, Senator Hassan is focused on supporting states’ efforts to increase treatment, prevent and recovery services. The Senator is also focused on strengthening law enforcement and drug interdiction efforts through her work on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. Senator Hassan recently helped introduce the STOP Act, a bipartisan measure that will help prevent deadly fentanyl from being shipped into America from abroad.

NH Board Of Education Sends Letter Of No Confidence In Edelblut As Commissioner Of Education

Letter cites gaps in qualifications and overwhelming concern from “a broad and extensive cross-section of the public” that “virtually all have expressed concerns about the appointment”

Concord, NH – The NH State Board of Education released a letter of no confidence in Governor Sununu’s Education Commissioner nominee. The letter was sent to the Governor and Executive Council yesterday afternoon after the Governor’s late consultation with the Board; the Executive Council is scheduled to vote on the nomination this morning.

“The State Board of Education has a statutory responsibility to ensure the Department of Education is staffed with qualified individuals and that all children in our state receive an adequate education. We applaud the members for doing their due diligence on the nominee,” said Zandra Rice Hawkins, Executive Director ofGranite State Progress. “We strongly urge the Executive Council to vote down this nomination and urge the Governor to find a candidate better suited to the position.”

“After discussions with the public and among board members, we have to say, Governor, that we share the public’s concern about Mr. Edelblut’s qualifications for the role of New Hampshire Education Commissioner. The high level of concern parents have voiced about this nomination that is so important to them puts the State Board of Education on notice. We owe parents the Board’s full commitment to our statutory responsibility as the board of directors of New Hampshire public education.  We are prepared for that role and will exercise it with full transparency,”  stated Tom Raffio, Chairman of the State Board of Education.

Along with the letter from the Board, Raffio included 57 pages of individual messages, emails, and communications “from concerned citizens, mostly parents in opposition to this nomination.”

Full Letter here and below.

State Board of Education Consultation Letter to Governor Sununu

Senator Hassan Participates in Floor Debate in Opposition to Betsy DeVos’s Nomination

Senator Highlighted Stories of Granite Staters Concerned with Mrs. DeVos’s Nomination 

WASHINGTON – Today, Senator Maggie Hassan participated in the floor debate on Betsy DeVos’s nomination, highlighting that Mrs. DeVos is completely unqualified and unprepared to serve as Secretary of Education. 

“All public officials – regardless of their party affiliation – should share a reverence for the importance of public education to our country’s success, both now and into the future. And they must show a commitment to enforcing our laws so that all students have the opportunity to succeed. I agree with my colleagues that Mrs. DeVos has not shown a commitment to, or an understanding of, these principles – and that is why I oppose her nomination,” said Senator Hassan today in comments delivered on the Senate floor.

Senator Hassan stressed Mrs. DeVos’ lack of experience with public education, as well as her support for diverting taxpayer dollars to private schools without accountability requirements, which would undermine efforts to ensure that every child has access to the education they need to be competitive and successful leaders in the 21st century economy.

“Mrs. DeVos demonstrated a complete lack of experience in, knowledge of and support for public education. She was unable to address basic issues that any New Hampshire school board member could discuss fluently,” Senator Hassan said.

Senator Hassan also highlighted the stories of the thousands of constituents who have reached out to her office expressing fear for what Mrs. DeVos’s confirmation would mean for their families, saying, “Mrs. DeVos’s unfamiliarity with IDEA, her comments on students with disabilities was something my office heard about often from Granite State parents who contacted the office with concerns about her nomination.” 

Senator Hassan spoke of a constituent from Concord who said she was feeling “vulnerable” about the future of her stepdaughter, who experiences both physical and cognitive disabilities, as a result of Mrs. DeVos’s nomination.  

“Parents across our nation deserve to know that the rights of their children will be protected – and they are rightfully concerned with Mrs. DeVos’s nomination,” Senator Hassan stated.

Shaheen Reads Letters From Granite State Parents And Educators Who Oppose Betsy DeVos’ Nomination

SHAHEEN: Because Betsy DeVos does not understand these basic truths about education in America, because she is driven by an ideological hostility to our public schools, she is the wrong person to serve as our Secretary of Education.”

Shaheen’s office has received more than 4,000 letters and emails, nearly all opposing DeVos, and 1,405 calls in opposition to her nomination

Watch Here

(Washington, DC) — U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) spoke on the Senate floor today in opposition of President Trump’s nominee for Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos. “I value public schools as one of our nation’s bedrock civic and democratic institutions,” Shaheen said. “[Public schools] provide the best opportunity for kids from all walks of life to get a quality education. And they pass on to each new generation – including children of immigrants – America’s shared ideals and values. Regrettably, after careful study of Ms. DeVos’s record as an activist, I have concluded that she does not agree with this view of our public schools.”

“Given her past record, it makes no sense to put Ms. DeVos in charge of the Department of Education unless the aim is to devalue, defund, and perhaps eventually destroy our public schools,” Shaheen stated. “And I think that is unacceptable.”

On the Senate floor, Shaheen looked back on her own education and how she benefitted from public schools spanning grade school to higher education. She also cited her background as a public school teacher in Mississippi and New Hampshire, as well as her experience both as a parent and as New Hampshire’s governor.

 Shaheen drew attention to the heightened interest among constituents on DeVos’ nomination, saying her “office has been inundated with letters, emails, and phone calls strongly opposing the DeVos nomination.” Shaheen’s office has received more than 4,000 letters and emails from Granite Staters, and almost all of them oppose this nomination, in addition to 1,405 calls in opposition, with only three phone calls in support.

Shaheen read letters from Granite State educators, parents and concerned constituents that her office received opposing Ms. DeVos’ nomination. Megan, a social studies teacher, wrote: “Mrs. DeVos clearly lacks even a basic understanding of federal education policy, laws, and instructional practices. She has no relevant experience. There is just no way I would ever be certified to instruct students in New Hampshire if I lacked as much knowledge and experience in my field.  But she gets to be the nation’s chief educator.  How is this good for kids?” 

Referencing Ms. DeVos’ unawareness of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), Shaheen read a letter from a parent in Western New Hampshire who wrote, “As the parent of a daughter with Down syndrome, I fear for the future of IDEA if DeVos is in charge.”

“What Ms. DeVos fails to understand is that quality education has nothing to do with whether a school is public or private,” concluded Shaheen. “What counts are high-quality teachers, support from parents and communities, facilities where kids can enjoy learning and be safe, rigorous academic standards, and the resources to make sure that children can get the learning that they need, including individualized assistance to kids with special needs. What counts is the political and budgetary commitment to create high-quality schools in every neighborhood, regardless of zip code.”

AFT-NH Testifies Against Frank Edelblut For Commissioner Of Education

Testimony in Opposition to Frank Edelblut Nomination as Commissioner of the State of New Hampshire Dept. of Education

Councilors,

Thank you for taking the time to hear my testimony and thank you for providing everyone here an opportunity to weigh in on this nomination.

As president of AFT-NH, I represent some 4000 education professionals, including teachers and para-educators. I mention those two groups because they form the largest portion of our membership and as education professionals they are required to be certified as competent to do their work and in many cases they must be highly qualified. Public education, filled with myriad of mandates and a maze of requirements and regulations, is a complex field. An individual charged with heading the NH Dept. of Education should be familiar with and have extensive experience in the educational arena. In fact, State statute (RSA 21-N:3) is quite clear: “The commissioner and deputy commissioner shall be qualified to hold their positions by reason of education and experience.” I am afraid that Mr. Edelblut, even with his success in business and his brief tenure in the NH House, does not reach this threshold of qualifications.

Mr. Edelblut has never served in any capacity in the public school systems of NH. He did not serve on the Education Committee in the NH House, nor has he ever served on a District School Board or even taken an active/visible interest in local educational issues, if election campaign media reports are to be believed. While personally educated in public schools, that is not sufficient to meet the statutory standard—otherwise, virtually everyone in this room would be qualified to serve as Commissioner. His post-secondary fields of endeavor were in business and in theology, not in any field related to education.

Choosing to home school his own children, he has had very little, if any, contact with local schools, whether public or even public charters, and one is left to wonder how he can carry out the statutory mandate to lead the Department in

  • Providing general supervision for elementary and secondary schools, teachers and administrators.
  • Providing a variety of educational services to schools and particular groups.
  • Providing vocational rehabilitation and social security disability determination services for persons with disabilities.

Our teachers and para-educators are required to be certified, and for good reason. The welfare of our children, the State’s most precious resource, is at stake. It seems foolish to entrust their welfare and the future of the State to an individual who is undeniably accomplished, but who has no record of accomplishment, nay, virtually no record at all, in the area of education. It is for these reasons, that on behalf of the members of AFT-NH, I ask that you vote to reject the nomination of Frank Edelblut as Commissioner of the NH Department of Education.

Thank you,

Douglas Ley
AFT-NH, President

NH Groups to Conduct Silent Vigil During Trump Swearing-In on Friday

 CONCORD NEW HAMPSHIRE—Several groups concerned about a rising tide of intolerance and violence will conduct a silent vigil in front of the New Hampshire State House during the time Donald T. Trump is taking the oath of office as the nation’s 45th president on Friday, January 20.

“At the time of the swearing in, we will gather to recommit to the values we hold dear and to stand with those who are marginalized, threatened, and afraid,” said the Rev. Gray Fitzgerald of Concord.  “We recognize that at the moment of the vigil we are entering a new epoch in the history of our country. We are joining together to acknowledge that reality and to reaffirm our commitment to multiculturalism, GLBTQ and women’s rights, an economic system that works for all, immigrant rights, inclusion of all people, respect for those with disabilities, racial justice, love and care of the planet, inclusion of all spiritual and religious traditions, and justice leading to peace.”

The Silent Vigil of Hope and Concern will take place from noon to 12:15 PM. 

The vigil will be preceded by a short program beginning at 11:45 AM.  It will also be followed by a short program.  Afterward, participants will adjourn to a nearby office for hot beverages and conversation.

Rev. Fitzgerald said all are invited who share these stated values and who want to join with others in a ritual of recommitment.  “It is our intention to stand even more strongly for these principles in the coming days. As we face this new period, we gather in solidarity as brothers and sisters reaffirming what we stand for regardless of who is president,” Rev. Fitzgerald added.

The Vigil of Hope and Concern is sponsored by the Justice and Witness Ministries of the United Church of Christ NH Conference, the American Friends Service Committee, Pace e Bene Nonviolence Service, NH Peace Action, and the Equality Center.

Group Calls On Sununu To Name Businesses That Will Move To NH If Right To Work Passes

Granite State Progress Calls on Governor Sununu, Majority Leader Hinch to Name At Least 5 Businesses That Will Move to NH If Right to Work Passes

Right to Work Advocates Have Been Unable to Name a Single Business in Six Years

CONCORD, NH – Granite State Progress calls on Governor Chris Sununu and House Republican Majority Leader Dick Hinch to name at least five businesses that will move to New Hampshire if so-called Right to Work passes. Both politicians made statements during last week’s inauguration and interviews that passing Right to Work is important for business development and that businesses will move to the state upon passage. However, when media outlets questioned NH Speaker Bill O’Brien over the same claim in 2011 he was unable to name even a single business. Additionally, both NH’s Commissioner of Labor and NH’s Commissioner of Resources and Economic Development at the time confirmed not a single business had asked about the legislation:

Union Leader, Businesses are not asking for the right-to-work bill by George Copadis, NH Commissioner of Labor: “Not once has the topic of right-to-work ever come up in all of [their] discussions with New Hampshire businesses and prospective businesses.” [5.24.11]

Statement by Granite State Progress Executive Director Zandra Rice Hawkins: “Right to Work is wrong for working families and its wrong for New Hampshire. This is nothing more than an attempt to undermine workers’ rights and create another hurdle for working families to come together to negotiate for good jobs with reasonable wages and benefits, job safety, and job training. The politicians and special interest backers pushing this policy should instead support raising wages, end off-shoring of our jobs, and pass family-friendly workplace policies that respect the contributions workers bring to increasing profits in our country.”

Granite State Progress publicly calls on Governor Sununu and Majority Leader Hinch to release a list of the companies they purport will bring jobs to New Hampshire if the state passes legislation that hurts working families.

Granite State Progress is a progressive advocacy organization that addresses issues of immediate state and local concern. Granite State Progress works as a communications hub for the progressive community to provide a strong, credible voice in advancing progressive solutions to critical community problems.

5 Signs That Your Windows Are In Need of Repair

Sponsored Post with tips to save money on your energy bill this winter. 

 

When it comes to the east coast, its long frigid winters, tropical storms and annual hurricanes, your windows have most likely seen their fair share of beatings from mother nature. The resulting damage can vary from swollen window frames, or leaky windows to deteriorated seals, but it is not always easy to tell when they actually need to be repaired or replaced. If you aren’t sure what to look for, we will outline the 5 most common signs of window damage to look out for.

Save Energy

If you do regular inspections on your windows to ensure that they are functioning properly, you can save a lot of money not only on your maintenance bill but on your energy bill as well. High energy bills are commonly attributed to run down, drafty old windows, which can push the figure up as much as 25%! Examine your windows with this handy checklist to find how much money and energy you could potentially save.

The Tell Tale Signs

Mother nature, in the form of the ever-changing weather, speeds up the wear and tear of most parts of your home, but your windows are particularly at risk as they are the thinnest barrier between you and the outside world. Is it time to renovate, repair or replace? Here are the signs;

  1. There is a Draft coming Through the House

Drafty windows are generally the result of failed weather-strips on your windows’ sashes, but may also be caused by cracked windowpane or where the glazing putty on the glass has decayed. The offending elements should be replaced, but until you can find a long term and possibly costly solution, using caulk to seal these gaps is a cost-effective and easy solution.

  1. The Windows are Chipped, Cracked or Broken

This is the easiest and most obvious issue to detect; cracks, chips and scratches usually come from storm damage. These should be placed as soon as possible to reduce the risk of shattered glass getting into your home and causing damage or injury.

  1. The Windows are Old, Run Down and Rotten

It is quite easy to tell if a home is old, just old by looking at windows. Old windows tend to have cracked, rotten or discolored frames which have taken damage over the years. Before simply repainting, ensure that none of weathered sections are worn or rotten, as painting may mask the issue but will not prevent further deterioration. Decayed frames often require a completely new window.

  1. The Windows have Fog or Water Condensation

When the window seals are broken, then water droplets will begin to form on the inside of the glass. When this happens, the window pane has allowed air into the space between the panes of glass. When moisture also finds its way in then you will get foggy windows, due to the condensation. It is highly recommended that you replace your frames when the deterioration has reached this point.

  1. The Windows are Leaking Water

If your window doesn’t want to close properly all this way this will usually be the chief cause of water leaking in. If the window has a locking mechanism, then locking it may help. If it doesn’t help, then chances are that the frame is compromised and will need to be replaced. Ensure that the roof isn’t leaking down onto the window to rule out other possibilities.


About the Guest Author

This article was provided by a Chicago window repair company, Apex Window Werks. The company specializes in home window repair, glass repair, window defogging and replacement services. Visit their website for more details.

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