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Washington, DC – Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman Bill Shuster (R-PA) released the following statement on the President’s nomination of Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx to the post of U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary:
“I am pleased the President has put forward a candidate to lead the U.S. Department of Transportation, and I congratulate Mayor Foxx upon his nomination. Transportation is important for our country. These issues are about jobs, quality of life, and prosperity. I remain committed to building consensus about how to strengthen our infrastructure, promote economic growth, and make the Nation more competitive in the global marketplace. Once he has been confirmed by the Senate, I look forward to working with Mayor Foxx to achieve these goals for our country.
“I also thank Secretary LaHood for his years of service to our country and for his dedication to our Nation’s transportation system. I personally appreciate Ray’s friendship, and I wish him and his family the best in the future.”
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On May 10th I am going under the knife for surgery to repair a sports hernia I have had for a while. Nothing serious or urgent, but a nagging injury I have procrastinated on dealing with for several years. I have not wanted to do it because I won’t be able to work out intensely and do the other activities like I do now for probably 6 to 8 weeks after the surgery…and I know I am going to be “Jonesin”. Those of you who work out regularly know what I am talking about.
At the beginning of April, I was talking with my personal trainer about the surgery and he recommended that I get real lean for the surgery…I am talking high school lean. I was 5’10” and 160 pounds when we had the conversation and he said I should make a commitment to be 150 pounds when I have the surgery….lose 10 pounds in 1 month…over 6% of my body weight…are you frickin kidding me?!?!?! He thinks it will make the surgery easier and my recovery will be faster so I can get back to hammering it sooner. Now, I eat pretty healthy already, so for me to drop 10 pounds in a month I needed to be fanatical. The big things I need to cut way back on are sweets and carbohydrates…both are two of my favorites. So, on April 9th I started and the first week I felt a bit like a caged animal and I felt like I constantly had a hole in my stomach. Now, I knew I could suck it up and do it for a few days on my own…we can all do that for almost anything, but I also knew that for me to maintain it for over a month I was going to need some help and accountability. Especially when you have two teenage boys at home that devour food like garbage disposals…and they aren’t devouring salads…they are devouring the “good stuff”. So, I need to look at it every day.
I think that whenever we want to make a radical change like this in any area of our life, help and accountability are critical and required ingredients of success. So I asked my family and coworkers to champion me, help hold me accountable, and don’t let me cheat. I am doing daily food and fitness logs with people, my wife has been awesome in helping me make sure there are good alternatives available for dinner and snacks other than that big pile of spaghetti and ice cream that my boys eat, in addition to kicking my butt physically, my trainer is giving me my weekly “check-up from the neck-up” to make sure I am staying focused and committed, etc. I will be honest…it is not easy, but the one thing I have discovered is the longer you do it the easier it gets…you get over the hump eventually. Unfortunately, most of us don’t let ourselves endure the pain of change long enough for it to start to get easy…we usually throw in the towel after a few days or a week….kind of like those New Year’s Resolutions that are so far off in the distance we cannot even see them in our rear-view mirror anymore.
I have to thank them…they have been great support and helped me stay on “the wagon” so far. I am 12 days away from the surgery and I am confident I will accomplish my goal of 150 pounds…if not, I will get pretty darn close. The one thing I know for sure is I could not have done it on my own. I needed the help and accountability of others.
Remember, the next time you want to, or you need to, make a radical change in any area of your life to get better, don’t be embarrassed or afraid to ask for help and accountability…they are required ingredients of success.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senator John Thune (R-SD), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, released the following statement after President Obama announced the nomination of Mayor Anthony Foxx to be the next Secretary of Transportation:
“I want to thank Secretary LaHood for his years of service at both the Department of Transportation and before that in Congress. He is a dedicated public servant and I wish Ray and Kathy the best. I look forward to reviewing Mayor Foxx's record and working with Chairman Rockefeller to ensu...
Weekly, a few of us at Body Firm coordinate and lead rides for a magnificent Body Firm cycling group. We are aiming to ride a 200 mile route (called the STP) in July in 2 days. Each week, a “tip” is sent out and this one is written by Aaron Odell, a fabulous trainer, CMT, and cyclist. I wanted to share as I loved his message:
Respecting our body
I watched a documentary film last night called “Riding the Divide”. Some of you may have seen it. It’s a slow paced film that follows primarily 3 of 15 starters doing a race from Canada to Mexico on mountain bikes. The race covers roughly 2,700 miles and I believe over 150,000 ft. of climbing. Piece of cake right? WOW! is all I have to say. My other half asked me if I’d ever thought of doing a race like it and my answer was a firm NO WAY!
Only around half of the people who started the race finished. These people who dropped out were emotional about stopping, but riding over 100 miles a day on your mountain bike can give you some time to do some soul searching. A lot of the participants have all manors of cuts, bruises, sores, blisters and heavy doses of aches and pains. But they trudge on…that is until some of them hit a wall most of us have likely never hit; crushing fatigue in hallucinogenic proportions. Many have to call it a day at some point during the race and make peace with themselves. They make tearful phone calls to family members and pack it up.
It dawned on me watching some of these people that sometimes calling it a day is a braver choice than pushing on. Usually it takes experience to figure out what our real limits are. So I don’t feel we should fear our limits but be mindful of them. I think that having a healthy dose of respect for one’s body is where good decisions come from. If our main motivation is stroking or protecting our fragile egos many times it can end badly. Many many times I’ve pushed myself to the extent of injury or exhaustion all because I didn’t want to be a looser, a failure, or a quitter. Little did I know at the time that those where just labels, judgments and over simplifications I had learned when I was younger. Unfortunately they just didn’t apply to reality. The flip side would be acting like one had borrowed someone else’s body (somebody you cared for) and are going to have to give it back to them sometime soon and in better shape than we found it. Sounds funny right! Another way to approach your body is to treat it at least as well as your favorite pet. Our bodies are with us through thick and thin and are constantly doing the very best they can, considering the circumstances it encounters, that loyalty is a quality worth loving….. worth respecting.
When I witness a feat of endurance like racing the Great Divide. I begin to realize just how much respect our bodies deserve. Lead through proper practice our bodies will absolutely amaze us. Like any living thing it needs to be stressed in ways that encourage growth. It needs to be tended to with nourishment and physical care. Whether you’re racing the tour de France or riding around the block, pushing yourself to find what’s possible is what we all have in common. Everyone has a different Mt. Everest to climb in their life. Discovering what our bodies are capable of is just one way of respecting what we’ve been given. Love your body, it’s the best one you have and it’s amazing.
Washington, DC – Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman Bill Shuster (R-PA) released the following statement today upon passage of the Reducing Flight Delays Act of 2013 (H.R. 1765), a bill to ensure the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) can end furloughs of air traffic controllers. The bill passed the House by a vote of 361 to 41.
“Although the FAA already had the necessary flexibility to implement the sequester in a responsible manner, this legislation ensures beyond a shadow of a doubt that the agency now has more than enough capacity to end air traffic controller furloughs, stop the pain for the traveling public, and protect the economy.
“Without giving the FAA any additional funding, the bill allows the Secretary of Transportation to transfer funds already in other FAA accounts, which the agency can use to avoid reductions in operations and staffing. This measure will force a stop to these needless furloughs. FAA also has the discretion to use this funding to keep air traffic control contract towers open.
“Throughout this process, my House and Senate colleagues and I insisted that we put the American people first. I’m glad that all parties came together in the end to do that.”
Click here to watch Chairman Shuster’s statement on the House floor
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On April 1, 2013 EPA proposed to remove the numeric standard it had established in December 2009 as part of court-ordered Effluent Limitation Guidelines (ELGs) for the construction and development industry.
On April 1, 2013 EPA proposed to remove the numeric standard it had established in December 2009 as part of court-ordered Effluent Limitation Guidelines (ELGs) for the construction and development
This week we’re reminiscing about a great app that we introduced to you back in 2009. Since then, the app has gone through a few changes and the company has even added some great complementary apps to make it work even better for you (more on that next week).
What is the free app we’re talking about? Evernote, the app that helps you organize….well…pretty much everything. It lets you take notes, capture photos, create to-do lists, record voice reminders, oh and it’s searchable so you can easily find your notes from last Fridays meeting without worry.
Here’s how it works:
If someone gives you a business card, snap a picture of it with your phone. You can upload it to Evernote, and it will be saved and indexed. Do the same thing with wine labels, Post-Its on which you’ve scrawled thoughts and musings … anything.
Collaborating with a colleague on a whiteboard? Take a picture of it, send it to Evernote and have it in your records forever.
Have a favorite webpage or just found the perfect article to show your clients? Save it to Evernote on your computer and access it later… on your ipad. Evernote can be synced across multiple computers and devices so you’ll always have what you need at the touch of a button.
The possibilities are endless. Tag any entry that you make with categories that are easy for you to remember. Expenses. Meetings. To-Dos. You name it. With Evernote, everything becomes searchable and is immediately available.
Get control. Get organized. Get it together with Evernote.
The health care law is “the most disruptive instrument to the American workplace in my lifetime.” That’s the perspective of Richmond businessman William J. Goldin, Jr., president of family-owned Strange’s Florists, Greenhouses and Garden Centers since 1978, who testified before the Small Business Committee last week.
Read the article onlineHERE.
By Rep. Martha Roby (R-AL)
Should a working dad be forced to use up all of his vacation time in order to be involved in his child’s school?
Should a military mom with her husband deployed have to dip into sick leave at work to make sure her kids have the parental support they need?
Should someone with aging parents who require extra care have no option allowing them to devote more time and attention to their parents when they need it most?
The workplace has changed over the years, and so has the worker. We have different demands on our time, so it only makes sense that our laws governing the workplace catch up to the realities of today’s families.
That’s why I introduced the Working Families Flexibility Act of 2013. It allows employers to offer their employees the choice of paid time off, or comp time, in lieu of cash wages for overtime. A working mom or dad could use the “time and a half” overtime he or she earned as actual paid “time and a half” off work instead of cash, if that’s what they’d rather have.
Under this bill, no worker could ever be forced to take paid time off, just as no business owner would be forced to offer it. This bill does not change the 40-hour workweek or how overtime pay is calculated. The same protections that have been a part of labor law for decades remain. But, for some workers and businesses, comp time could be a valuable option to include in a benefits package.
A more flexible workplace isn’t a new concept. In fact, many employees in the public sector enjoy this benefit today. That’s because in 1985 Congress passed a law allowing public-sector employers — local or state governments, or even federal agencies — to offer their employees the option of comp time.
So why should the rules be different for employees in the private sector? Why should government workers have more freedom in the workplace than everybody else? And why is the federal government restricting businesses from offering certain benefits that government agencies are free to offer?
Denying private businesses and workers a benefit the government itself enjoys is hypocritical. It is also unfair. For some workers, extra paid time off is actually more valuable than money. And if that’s the case, why should Washington stand in the way?
We heard from one such worker recently during a subcommittee hearing on this bill: Karen DeLoach, a bookkeeper at a Montgomery, Ala., accounting firm. Like most in her line of work, Karen puts in many hours during the busy season and, therefore, builds up a lot of overtime. Karen recently approached her boss to request swapping her earned overtime pay for comp time so she could go on her church’s mission trip to Nicaragua without interrupting her regular paycheck.
Montgomery is the state capital, and Karen had heard her state employee friends talk about how they swapped overtime pay for comp time in their jobs. She never imagined a similar arrangement at a private business would be against the law. But that’s what her boss informed her. To his credit, Karen’s boss was willing to offer the flexibility of comp time, but he wasn’t going to break the law.
Karen’s story isn’t unique. Think about the parents of young children; those caring for elderly parents; military families with one of the parents about to deploy. They need more time to be able to take care of personal responsibilities. But, unless they work in the public sector, building up and taking advantage of comp time isn’t an option.
The Working Families Flexibility Act would finally offer working Americans in the private sector what their peers in the public sector already enjoy — more freedom and more control over their time. To be clear, this bill doesn’t add more government regulation in the workplace — we have enough red tape as it is. This bill aims to get Washington out of the way and give employees and employers the freedom to choose what works best for them.
American author and statesman Edward Everett Hale wrote, “I am only one. But still, I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something. And because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do the something that I can do.”
There are big issues facing this country. We have more than $16 trillion in national debt. We have a federal spending addiction. Though we’ve seen some improvement, the economy is still largely stuck in the mud, and businesses are being choked by bureaucratic red tape.
The Working Families Flexibility Act won’t solve the debt crisis, or fix Obamacare or simplify the Tax Code. I’m proud of our efforts to tackle these big problems in Congress, yet I realize those efforts could be long and drawn out, maybe over a matter of years.
But the fact that we can’t solve the big, overarching problems overnight shouldn’t stop us from doing what we can right now to help make life a little easier for working moms and dads. The Working Families Flexibility Act does that by helping Americans better balance the demands of family and work.
To learn more about the Working Families Flexibility Act of 2013, visit edworkforce.house.gov/YourTime.
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FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
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Mr. Speaker, outdated federal policy denies many workers the chance to spend more time with their children or care for an aging relative. Accordingly, the Education and the Workforce Committee of which I am chairman, approved legislation last week that will fix this outdated policy and help more Americans balance family and work.
The Working Families Flexibility Act of 2013 would allow private-sector employers to offer employees the option to receive paid time off, or 'comp time,' in lieu of cash wages for overtime hours worked. This commonsense legislation removes an unnecessary barrier that prevents private-sector workers from receiving the same flexibility public-sector workers have enjoyed for nearly 30 years.
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