Steven J Connolly

Tuesday
Aug232011

The Departure. 

 

I'm not sure if he was behind the move but New Hampshire Business newspaper is reporting that Dawn Wivell is departing state government. If Commissioner George Bald was the moving party in this particular case:

Kudos to Commissioner George Bald!

The newspaper article stated that the Wivell position will not be replaced. So is this not only good news to the idea of saving taxpayers money but I believe the improvement of commerce in NH related to international trade and markets. So why might I say this? New Hampshire should not be in the trade recruitment business just like it shouldn't be in the ski area business. Not only are the markets dynamic and sophisticated enough to allow the international trade process to happen state government actually gets in the way. New Hampshire doesn't need this office and its overhead costs. Companies and entrepreneurs are going to come to New Hampshire when the capital, markets and sales potential are there state government doesn't need to be involved with this process. So I'm glad Ms. Wivell is leaving.

Next on deck should be Industrial Agents.

This may not be the title for these position(s). However, DRED still employs them. These are regionally based business recruiters. There can be some arguement for the value of their positions however, I think they should be converted to a commission sales position. So instead of the fixed state salary the agent would recieve a commission for every job and/or gross aggregate economic development project that was completed.

An idea for the future.

The departure of Dawn Wivell says to me that there can be positive change for the future the Romanesque emporers that are in power in New Hampshire don't run everything, forever and this is good.

 

 

Tuesday
Aug232011

Talking Hats. 

 

Last night I stopped at a small restaurant off I-93 on my way home from work. I'd assumed since it was a Monday it would be quiet so I could order an appetiser and watch what was going on on the widescreen HDTVs. Well, it didn't work out that way. The place was packed and I mean jammed.

So I decide to stay anyway and now I'm sitting at the bar listening to these two young male upstarts talk about the difference between the 480 and 500 horsepower BMW model, I don't remember which series and then one of them starts blabbering on about how hard it is to drive the car four to five hours because the power lumbar seats aren't that comfortable.

Stop whining and crying you little bitches...

By now the HDTVs are now on politics I can't hear the volume it's a scene of candidate Mitt Romney in various situations in New Hampshire, campaigning obviously and then one of the scenes shows Romney standing in front of a microphone holding a Burton for Certain hat and he is smiling and saying something I just can't imagine what he must be saying. I'm sure it will be more interesting than horsepower ratings on BMW cars. But then again it might not. Then the scene goes to Romney's house on the California coastline and his upgrade plans. Looks like quite a project out there.

Sometimes the news is better with no volume. If the Romney campaign can be considered news.

 

 

Thursday
Aug182011

Chocolate And NH Politics. 

This is a really interesting article I found about Hershey's Chocolate in Hershey, Pennsylvania and the use of foreign students on a visa. The quote from Hershey's themselves reminded me of NH politics and some of the rationale and explanation that frequently goes on. An example my recent experience with H.B 218. and my conversation with the Dean of the Executive Council, Ray Burton.
In any case, and as an aside I've been to Hershey, Pennsylvania several times as a OTR truck driver. The place is absolutely fascinating in terms of the overall community and the sense of history that is here. I've encountered the company mentioned here, EXCEL which manages their warehouse operations; I've found them to be very professional, in my particular case I actually arrived with my inbound load over two hours early to my appointment time and not only did they accept the load early but my preloaded oubound was also ready so after after dropping my trailer in the yard and submitting my bills of lading to the receiver, I hooked the preload set the refer temp and made a quick departure.
This is how to make money in trucking, picking up and delivering loads. The same is true for the reciever, EXCEL it was a good business decision on their part to accept the load early.
It doesn't always work out this way, just like NH politics.... Especially the information part.
The Lookout 
Foreign students walk off Hershey’s factory job in protest

 

Hershey's (AP)

Hundreds of foreign students on a State Department cultural exchange visa program walked off their factory jobs in protest on Wednesday.

 

The J-1 visa program brings foreign students to the country to work for two months and learn English, and was designed in part to fill seasonal tourism jobs at resorts and seaside towns. The 400 students employed at a Pennsylvania factory that makes Hershey's candies told The New York Times that even though they make $8.35 an hour, their rent and program fees are deducted from their paychecks, leaving them with less money than they spent to get the visas and travel to the country in the first place.

Some of the students were assigned night shifts, and said they were pressured to work faster and faster on the factory lines.

Hershey's said they didn't hire the students when the Times asked:

 

A spokesman for Hershey's, Kirk Saville, said the chocolate company did not directly operate the Palmyra packing plant, which is managed by a company called Exel. A spokeswoman for Exel said it had found the student workers through another staffing company.

Last December, theAP revealedthat federal immigration officials were investigating two human-trafficking abuse cases related to J-1 visas. Strip clubs openly solicited J-1 visa holders in job listings, and some foreign students told the AP they were forced into sexual slavery when their passports were confiscated by a ring of criminals. About 150,000 J-1 visas were given out in 2008. Businesses save about 8 percent by using a foreign worker because of Social Security and other taxes they do not have to pay.

Wednesday
Aug172011

Burton Flip Flopper. 

 

So today I spent some time trying to find out what I could about the status to the vetoed H.B. 218 and the immediate future of the capital intensive New Hampshire Rail Transit Authority.

It didn't take me much time to see how politics works. "I continue to support the rail authority." said Executive Councilor Ray Burton in response to my inquiry. This is interesting because right after the house passed the amended bill (Senate version) he stated that he "hoped the Governor would sign the legislation."

Flip flop, flip flop.

 

This is a DRAFT copy of a letter to the Editor that I'm working on:

Governor Lynch has vetoed legislation that will have a long-term consequence to New Hampshire.  And I think higher taxes.

This past legislative session the house and senate passed and amended House Bill 218, a bill that would have dissolved the New Hampshire Rail Transit Authority; an appointed quasai state agency that has financial and bonding authority to establish passenger railroad service between Boston and Nashua, Manchester and Concord on a route called the capitol corridor. And it will be expensive to do this. It will cost in the area of $53 million dollars. “The New Hampshire business community has made a clear statement that it sees rail, in the words of the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce, as "a proven economic catalyst that will spur economic development and create jobs."said Gov. Lynch in his veto message. I’d question the validity of this reasoning. NH tried passenger rail service on the capitol corridor in 1983 and it ended up on the skids. And since that time both the state rail plan and private consultants have studied the capitol corridor and their results are essentially the same: substantial capital costs and not enough ridership to justify the service.

But somehow the issue still persists; I’ve heard members of the rail authority proposing adding a property tax surcharge in places like Manchester and Nashua to pay for the trains. Even if it is enacted it’s questionable whether this surcharge will raise enough money so the rest of New Hampshire will likely be paying an additional tax to serve the interests of a few train riders going from southern New Hampshire to Boston. “I continue to support the rail authority.” said Executive Councilor Ray Burton in response to my concerns over increased taxes and the feasibility of the whole idea. Burton offered no reasoning why he would support the large expenditure, including the $17 million dollars a year in operating costs. No response at all.

Is the New Hampshire Rail Transit Authority and example of taxation without representation? Of course it is and now they have the authority to do it. Contact your legislator.

 

Sincerely,

 

Steven J. Connolly

Sunday
Aug142011

They're Not Here...Just Yet. 

 

I've been following the recently enacted agreement allowing Mexican truck drivers access into the United States and New Hampshire.  

Legislation has been filed in response to this. H.R. 2407 The Protecting America's Roads Act and its sponsors Reps. Peter Fazio, Duncan Hunter, Daniel Lipzinski.

"The latest step in the Obama Administration's persistent manuverving which is assumingly intended to mislead Congress and the general public, puts the pilot program on course for permanent status." Rep. Hunter said.

I hope the legislation passes.