Best News All Day 3-21-13

Portsmouth Naval Shipyard. Portsmouth, New Hampshire, USA


A small item in the Conway Daily Sun caught my attention this morning. A new social media policy approved by the County Commissioners warns employees that if they identify themselves as an employee of the county, which most people do on Facebook as part of their basic info, their postings and actions could be considered reflective on the county.


The policy, which got the OK from the county’s HR specialist and an outside attorney, goes on to say, “Supervisors may be held personally responsible for offensive communication or photos that occur on social media sites between co-workers outside the workplace on personal equipment,” if that supervisor is “friends” or follows that co-worker.

While there are plenty of previous cases on the issue of social media and First Amendment rights, holding a supervisor accountable if an underling makes offensive posts? Seems a bit harsh.

Cases on this have been leaning more toward the employer than the employee, as we see in this Huffington Post fluff slideshow. Enjoy.

— Portsmouth Naval Shipyard workers will rally today at noon against federal budget cuts that put their projects at risk. If any of you remember all that these workers did (most of them union) to keep the PNSY open during the last BRAC, you know these men and women don’t fool around.

— On the defense cuts theme, Sen. Kelly Ayotte spoke earlier this week about cutting the “missile to nowhere,” explained below and put in context in this NYT article.

“Senator Kelly Ayotte, Republican of New Hampshire, pleaded to kill what she called a missile to nowhere — a European-based missile defense system that both the Senate and House armed services committees have repeatedly tried to zero out — and to shift the money to military operations and maintenance.

‘There’s not going to be another funding bill for the government until the end of this federal fiscal year,’ she said. ‘This is our only opportunity.'”

— I was in college when they were expanding the east side of Route 101. I remember because I has to drive the road four times a year to get to the Manchester Airport (which it was appropriately called back then). I’ve always wondered why the same courtesy was never extended on the west side of Route 101, seeing as there are many people who travel the road every day and it is a complete traffic nightmare. It looks like the NHDOT is now planning to do so, and spoke in Bedford with residents about what an expansion would look like. Residents are worried the expansion would make Route 101 a barrier from one side of town to the other.

— From the Nashua Telegraph, “Casino bill authors vow to avoid tying expanded gambling to budget battle.” Good luck with that.

— Also from Nashua, the school budget gets a small cut.

Best News All Day 5-5-13


Another slush storm on the way? Who cares?! The beautiful weather and budding fauna of spring are just weeks away. Think positive.

— NH Chief Justice Linda Dalianis speaks with the Nashua Telegraph about budgets and court closings. She mentioned 32 full-time court positions are being cut, replaced with 66 part-time positions. She also was not optimistic about the courts’ budget outlook or the underfunded e-Court Project. She said, “The vagaries of the budget process being what they are, I don’t know how his will all turn out in the end.”

— Portsmouth City Council go a lot of work done last night, including a meh response to an outdoor ice rink at Strawbery Banke and an agreement to develop the Worth parking lot, aka the Whale Wall lot. This is where a parking garage had been proposed, but the neighbors pressured the council to nix the idea. Just to be clear, said Councilor Tony Coviello, this is not an attempt to bring back the Worth Lot garage idea through a back door, though some councilors totally thought it was.

— The NH Dental Society doesn’t want the state to expand laws authorizing dental technicians to do more complicated procedures. They make their case in the Concord Monitor today. I’ve done some research on this issue recently and I think it’s an interesting debate.

— For your political fix, Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, head of the DNC, will be headlining the Dem’s 100 Club Dinner on April 6.

— Also in national politics, everyone is SO EXCITED!!! about Jeb Bush and his book and his hints. The question everyone around here should be asking is when is he coming to New Hampshire? And will he consider headlining a fundraiser for the NHGOP?

— Journalist James Foley, who is from New Hampshire, was kidnapped in Syria on Thanksgiving Day last year. He is still missing. His family has set up a website about Foley and their campaign to find him. Please check it out.

Best News All Day 2-26-13


Good morning. Another snow storm is on it’s way tonight, so I’ve included a few stories you may have missed (and I definitely missed) from this weekend. Consider it a little extra reading for you while “working from home” tomorrow.

— White pine trees in New Hampshire are stressed out, according to UNH scientists.

— GREAT Nashua Telegraph web front page today. Plenty of good reads, including the piece on the Mont Vernon GOP gun raffle. It mentions recent controversy with these kinds of gun raffles and has a quote from Manchester GOP moderate Chris Stewart warning this may not be the path Republicans want to keep going down.

— NH Supreme Court rules the Nashua Telegraph did not defame a man when it erroneously reported he cooperated with police. Plaintiff argues, it’s defamation if you’re in prison.

— Comprehensive look from Union Leader business writer Dave Solomon breaking down the natural gas/Power New England/deregulation issue. Also, a little more background from New York Times.

— There are plenty of good stories about the local impact of sequestration. Here is the official White House fact sheet for NH.

— From Concord Monitor Sunday paper, great Ben Leubsdorf interview with interim LGC head and all around obscure government agency fixer, George Bald.

— NH DOT Commissioner Chris Clement to speak about NH’s state of transportation at the Greater Portsmouth Chamber of Commerce breakfast tomorrow. In the press release: New Hampshire has approximately 17,000 miles of roads, turnpikes and interstate highways and 3,795 bridges. “These structures are essential to our state and their deteriorating condition is a threat to our economy.”

— And my personal favorite, Nashua residents push Board of Public Works to hold its meetings at a reasonable evening hour, not in the middle of the work day. Former Alderman Dan Richardson adds this complaint (from Maryalice Gill at the Telegraph):

“When you read the formal Board of Public Works meeting minutes for that particular meeting, you’ll find absolutely no hint of public participation via that letter. It was as if no letter even existed. Is that what the mayor considers satisfactory public participation? It sounds to me like an official’s attempt to wash the official record of any public dissent.”