The state Supreme Court has unanimously ruled that names and individual pension amounts are public information. The ruling opens the door for media to scrutinize how much former public workers collect in retirement.
About 18 months ago, the Union Leader asked to see the names and payouts to the 500 individuals with the highest pensions.
Citing vague language in the Right-to-Know law, the New Hampshire Retirement System declined to hand over the documents.
The congressional “super committee” is only tasked with cutting one point two trillion dollars from the federal debt. But Second District Republican Congressman Charlie Bass is asking the panel to cut even deeper, even if it taxes are thrown into the mix.
Monday was the deadline for employees at the Union Leader to ratify a new 2-year contract. Company negotiators said failure to reach a new deal would result in layoffs and a 10% salary cut. Reporters, editors, advertising staff and others at the paper have unanimously rejected the new deal. Workers say this latest round of cutbacks threatens the paper’s standing.
Norm Welsh started working at the state’s largest newspaper back in the late 80’s.
Around the country soup kitchens and food pantries are reporting a spike in demand. Here in New Hampshire, food bank officials say they can’t keep up with requests for help. The state’s food assistance safety net is showing signs of serious strain.
Things started to change for Christopher Persall sometime this summer.
“It goes from you being able to eat meats, fruits and vegetables and dessert to now there are days where there are some vegetables and some breads.”
The price of home heating oil is expected to hit an all-time high this winter. That’s unwelcome news from Maine to Maryland, where millions of people rely on the fuel to stay warm. The spike could make life difficult for heating oil suppliers and their low-income customers.
When the price of crude oil jumps the price of home heating oil pretty much follows.
In the last 12 months, the price of crude has shot up 40%.
What’s causing the spike?
Aaron Brady, an analyst for IHS Cambridge Energy Research Associates, says its emerging markets like India and China.
It’s that time of year when people light fires in the morning, or see their tomatoes glazed in frost. It won’t be much longer before the real cold comes. Last year, some 45,000 families around New Hampshire received some help paying their heating bills. But this winter, all signs point to a cut in federal fuel assistance.
The math is pretty simple, says Mark Wolfe with the National Energy Assistance Directors’ Association.
“At this point both the House and Senate both call for a cut of about $1 billion dollars.”
This month’s installment of our 11 for '11 series of big picture conversations on the issues of our times. Today, it’s energy, specifially oil. Oil is trading at 112-dollars a barrel, up from 86-dollars a year ago. Michael Klare says the era of easy oil is behind us. He’s made news for his concept of “extreme energy” – the pursuit of fossil fuels in increasingly difficult environments using expensive and sometimes dangerous methods.
Today we have this month's 11 for '11 segment, focusing on how the increasingly dangerous pursuit of oil affects the market price. Plus, alcoholism in Russia, and a journalist shares stories from inside the Balkan Underground, a crafty, cynical, and fearless network that has heisted hundreds of millions of dollars worth of jewels in 26 countries.
A new book by George Mason University Economics Chair Tyler Cowen has inspired spirited debate among beltway and economics circles. Published only as an e-book, The Great Stagnation: How America Ate All the Low-Hanging Fruit of Modern History, Got Sick, and Will (Eventually) Feel Betterargues that America's economic growth plateaued in the 1970s. Median wages have stagnated since, he says, because we have eaten all the low hanging fruit that enabled innovation to flourish and average income to grow across the board.
In January, the global food price index rose for the seventh month in a row, reaching the higest level since record keeping began in 1990. Raj Patel is an activist and academic whose book, Stuffed and Starved, predicted the food crisis that caused riots on four continents back in 2008. More recently, his book, The Value of Nothing, argues that we as citizens should rethink our assumptions about rational markets and the very meaning of democracy.
During these tough economic times people often turn to churches, synagogues and other faith-based organizations for help. Maybe the church runs a shelter, maybe congregants cook food for a family, maybe the temple has a clothing drive.
But while communities of faith will do what they can to help their members and others in the community, few are as well-organized as the Mormon church.
NHPR Correspondent Sheryl Rich-Kern has the story.
Sound of door opening, Kirsta saying hello, hi, how are you, come on in, fade under