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Tuesday September 26, 2017
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By Wenonah Hauter   |   October 20, 2016, 04:25 pm

During this year’s election, both major party candidates have discussed the need for massive infrastructure investments to upgrade everything from our highways and bridges to our airports. Unfortunately, there has been little conversation highlighting our nation’s urgent need to upgrade our aging drinking water and wastewater systems.

While our interstate highway system officially turned 60 this year, some of the infrastructure delivering water to our communities is over a century old, and that includes the pipes—many made of lead. So it’s no surprise that there’s an urgent national health crisis unfolding before our eyes. Far beyond Flint, Mich., every week more information is revealed showing that millions of homes, schools, restaurants and small and large businesses in almost every state throughout the country are serviced by lead pipes or old crumbling water lines. According to a recent study by the Government Accountability Office, economically distressed cities with declining populations continue to have urgent water infrastructure needs: there are more Flints waiting in the wings if we don’t act.


That’s why upgrading our national water infrastructure is a national moral imperative. This water crisis plagues our entire society, for we all suffer when our water infrastructure is left to languish and poison our nation — including our children.
In 1977 we spent $76 per person to support public water, but today we are spending less than $14 per person—an 82 percent decrease overall. This lack of investment causes trillions of gallons of treated water to leak through crumbling water pipes, wasting an estimated $2.6 billion each year. Without dedicated federal funding, many communities simply cannot afford to repair and maintain the pipes and treatment systems that keep our water clean and safe.

Transforming our water systems also means good paying jobs — and lots of them. A 2009 study by the Clean Water Council estimated that every $1 billion spent on water infrastructure could create between 20,000 and nearly 27,000 jobs across the economy. That means that fully meeting our water funding needs — an estimated $35 billion a year—would create nearly a million employment opportunities across the economy.

We certainly can’t run our water systems like a business; we need to maintain public control of our local water systems for them to remain accountable to our communities, not shareholders. We need a robust investment to upgrade our water systems, and it must not incentivize corporate control of water.

When communities lack the funds to maintain their own water systems, they become vulnerable to privatization schemes where corporations offer municipalities money in exchange for running the local water system, hiking rates or cutting corners to increase their profits. Big banks also see water as big business—Wall Street players have gotten into the privatization game, trying to facilitate deals and get a cut of the money in return.

The renewed interest in our nation’s infrastructure, therefore, must not end with roads and bridges. That’s why we must fight tooth and nail to demand our elected official ensure that everyone in our country has access to safe, affordable, locally controlled water service and wastewater disposal. Congress must act by including billions into any new infrastructure bill to finally prioritize our water infrastructure and protect our right to safe water today and for future generations.

Wenonah Hauter is executive director of Food & Water Watch, a national advocacy organization.

http://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/economy-budget/302057-water-jobs-justice-an-urgent-demand-to-rebuild-americas#

 

LiUNA logo

MEMORANDUM

TO: All LIUNA Regional Offices, District Councils, Local Unions, and Affiliated Funds in the United States and Canada

FROM: General President O’Sullivan

DATE: April 1, 2016

RE: Retired LIUNA General Secretary-Treasurer Terence J. O’Sullivan

 

It is with great personal sadness, and a very heavy heart that I write to inform you of the death of my father, retired LIUNA General Secretary-Treasurer and Coordinator of the LIUNA National Retiree Council, and 66-year LIUNA member, Terence J. O’Sullivan. My father is survived by his beloved wife of 62 years and my mother, Lenora; as well as by his son, Kevin; his daughter, Kathleen; son-in-law, Shawn; grandchildren Brendan, Caitlin, Connor, Keara, and Giovanna; brother, Brendan; and numerous other family members including myself and my wife Yvette.

During a career that spanned six decades, my father left a larger-than-life legacy that will continue to benefit members of our great International Union for generations to come. He worked passionately and tirelessly on behalf of LIUNA, our members, and their families. He was a Laborers’ Laborer who never shied away from telling it like it is. Quite simply, he did it the LIUNA way.

My father was a man who dedicated his life to fighting for workers’ rights, and for social and economic justice. A proud Irish-American and United States Marine, his life was defined by his service to his family, to his country, to his union, and to his community. While, like many of your ancestors, my father came from extreme poverty, our union found him, and provided my father, and three generations of O’Sullivans, a path to the middle class and the ability to achieve the American dream. He was devoted to providing the same hope and opportunities to all workers.

Terence J. O’Sullivan was my father, my mentor, my friend, and my hero; he will be dearly missed.

Friends are invited to call on the family on Friday, April 8, from 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m., and again from 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m., at Fairfax Memorial Funeral Home, 9902 Braddock Road, Fairfax, Virginia 22032, telephone 703-425-9702. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at Saint Luke Catholic Church, 7001 Georgetown Pike, McLean, Virginia 22101, on Saturday, April 9, at 1:00 p.m., telephone 703-356-1255.

 

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the LIUNA Charitable Foundation, 905 16th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20006.

 

LIUNA
905 16th St NW
Washington, DC 20006

In a January 28, 2016 ruling, FERC ordered the following in regards to the request for a rehearing and stay request:

(A) The requests for rehearing of the March 3 Order are denied, and the requests for stay of the March 3 Order are dismissed, as discussed in the body of this order.
(B) Mr. Huston’s Request for Rehearing is dismissed for the reasons given in the body of this order.
(C) Late motions to intervene are denied and the late movants’ requests for rehearing are dismissed.

pdfCLICK HERE to download the full 94 page order810.03 KB

Source: Huffington Post |  10/21/15 | David Macaray

In his excellent autobiography ("Frank"), Barney Frank notes that one reason reactionaries are often more successful than progressives is because they tend to be more fanatical, more disciplined, and more willing to do the grunt work required to get the attention of their representatives. They also vote.

It goes without saying that elected officials who wish to remain in office are obliged to accommodate their constituencies. Hundreds of letters and phone calls in a single week are going to get their attention. And not to paint all conservatives with the same brush, but a "crackpot" will always outwork a generalist.

Testing of the Rockland-based cashless system begins in the fall and goes to work spring 2016. The Tarrytown toll plaza will be demolished and eventually rebuilt to collect all tolls electronically.

SOUTH NYACK - What is that massive steel skeleton above the southbound Thruway just before the Tappan Zee Bridge?

It's part of a new all-electronic toll collection system for the bridge. It was recently installed across from Exit 10 in South Nyack.

"It seemed like it appeared overnight", commuter Jerry Perlmutter said of the shiny, hulking structure.

By spring, every toll will be collected electronically, the majority through E-ZPass, meaning drivers wont have to stop or slow down to pay. For those without E-ZPass, cameras on the frame will take a photo of the license plate and the vehicles' owner will receive a monthly bill in the mail.

Cameras will be installed over the next six to eight weeks. Testing will begin in the fall, but drivers will still pay their tolls at the Tarrytown plaza until the electronic system is fully implemented.

src="/images/tzb_tolls.jpg" alt="tzb tolls" width="250" height="188" style="margin-left: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px; float: right;" />The highly-sophisticated system detects which classes of vehicles are traveling and applies the correct toll for passenger vehicles, commercial trucks, buses and motorcycles, states the website for the new $3.9 billion Tappan Zee Bridge, which is also known as the New NY Bridge.

About 25 million trips requiring a toll are made across the 3-mile bridge annually, with about 80 percent of drivers paying by E-ZPass.

According to the project website, more than 35 bridges, tunnels and roads nationwide employ all-electronic tolling, with 13 more coming soon.

One major downside is state tolling authorities lack the tools to go after toll dodgers. You need only look at the Henry Hudson Bridge, which connects the Bronx and Manhattan, and went all-electronic in late 2012. Some $4 million in tolls remain uncollected, with fines piling up.

To date, local lawmakers have been unsuccessful in passing legislation to give the agencies more enforcement power but vow to continue the fight.

When the temporary system goes live in Rockland in 2016, the Tarrytown toll plaza will be demolished and a new permanent system to collect tolls electronically will be built on site opening in 2018.

Perlmutter, a New City resident who has been commuting over the bridge to his pharmacist job in Westchester since 1973, said paying tolls electronically could help keep traffic flowing.

If you're thinking you might be able to duck the tolls on Thruway by getting on the bridge from South Nyack, think again.

A steel frame will be installed on the entrance ramp in the next four to six weeks. Following testing, it too will be activated in the spring.

src="/images/artbabcock.jpg" alt="artbabcock" width="250" height="167" style="margin-left: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px; float: right;" />UPDATED 6/16/15 - A GoFundMe site has been set up to help Art Babcock through his recovery. Please consider donating: CLICK HERE

NANUET – A driver hit a construction worker and drove off, seriously injuring the laborer, Clarkstown police said Thursday.
The laborer had been kneeling to work on a natural gas cap when the vehicle hit him on Second Avenue and Clinton Street, Officer Peter Walker said. Other laborers working for a contractor also were at the scene at the time, Walker said.
On the border with Spring Valley, Second Avenue dead-ends north of Clinton Street, which runs east and west.
The injured man, identified by a union official as Arthur Babcock, 49, was taken to Nyack Hospital after the incident at about 5:30 p.m. Tuesday. Walker said the worker's injuries were not life-threatening, but his condition was unavailable.
Babcock, a member of Laborers Local 754, underwent surgery on his pelvis and leg and may not work again, said Steven Reich, the union's business manager.
Walker said witnesses told police the vehicle looked like an SUV.
Reich said the Clarkstown police report described the driver as a white Hispanic male, 5' feet 8" tall, and about180 pounds, with black curly hair. He said according to the report the man was driving a gold or beige GMC Suburban with a black bumper guard.
Local 754 is offering a reward for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the driver, Reich said. The reward will be posted on union's website - www.local754.com - after the exact amount is approved June 17, he said.
Anyone with information on the incident can call the Clarkstown Police Department at 845-639-5800.