Washington, DC - Congressmen Bobby Schilling (IL-17), Geoff Davis (KY-04) and Jason Altmire (PA-04) today introduced the Citizen Soldier Equality Act, bipartisan legislation to correct compensation discrepancies for Reservists hurt in the line of duty and awarded the Purple Heart.  Under current formulas, these Reservists face an inequity in their disability when they are wounded in action.    

The Citizen Soldier Equality Act will fix this oversight, correcting the formula so "Years of Service" would equal their full years of service when the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) considers their disability pay.  This change in language simply eliminates the inequality between active and reserve personnel for disability retirement pay for those who are wounded while protecting our country.

"You can tell a lot about a country in how it takes care of its war heroes," Congressman Schilling said. "When warfighters are hurt in the line of duty, they should be compensated regardless of enlistment status.  At a time when we are going to be reducing troop numbers and relying more on our Reserve, we must provide the correct compensation for those citizen soldiers who are wounded in the line of duty.  I'm proud to introduce this bipartisan effort with Congressmen Davis and Altmire and thank them for their hard work over the years in support of our war heroes."

"I have worked for several years to resolve this inequity, and I am grateful to Congressman Schilling for his willingness to continue the cause," said Congressman Davis. "A bullet does not discriminate between an active and a reserve service member, and neither should we.  We owe it to our wounded reservists that their disability retirement pay is calculated the same way it is for active members of the military."

"When I look at the faces of the brave men and women who were wounded defending their country, the first question that I ask myself is how can we ever begin to repay them, not whether they have active or reserve status," Congressman Altmire said. "This legislation removes an inequality among our military members and provides the support they will need to succeed after bravely serving their country.  With thousands of servicemen and women returning home, we should give this bipartisan legislation immediate consideration on the House floor."

Disability retirement pay is calculated by one of two formulas, one of which contains "Years of Service." "Years of Service" roughly equals total Duty Days divided by 365.   As an example of the inequality, a Staff Sergeant with 13 calendar years of reserve service but only 4 years of active service based on "Total Duty Days" gets about 8 percent less disability retirement pay than an active duty soldier.  A lifetime delta of 8 percent can significantly impact the Reservists' standard of living.  To further illustrate, two personnel - one an active duty solder, one a Reservist - with identical disabilities incurred in the same conflict receive a different disability retirement benefit, with the Reservist coming up short.

The Citizen Soldier Inequality Act would eliminate the inequality between active and reserve personnel outlined above with regard to the calculation of disability retirement pay for service members wounded in action.

# # #

Gas prices have increased for 22 consecutive days; some analysts forecast $5 by summer

 

Washington, DC - Rep. Bruce Braley (IA-01) today called on President Barack Obama to open the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to help reduce spiking gasoline prices.

 

Gas prices have increased for 22 consecutive days nationally, and according to AAA, the average price for a gallon of gas in Iowa today is $3.53.  The average price has spiked 20 cents in the past two weeks alone.  Some analysts have projected that gas prices could reach $5 per gallon in some parts of the country by summertime.

 

"Rising gas prices stretch Iowans' pocketbooks and threaten our fragile economic recovery," Braley said.  "We should nip this problem in the bud right now.

 

"Rather than waiting for politicians in Congress to bicker endlessly and take no action, I'm calling on President Obama to take decisive action now and release oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.  Each time it's been opened in the past, its lowered gas prices - up to 33 percent in some cases."

 

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said in testimony before a Congressional panel earlier today that spiking gas prices are a temporary threat to the economic recovery.

 

Gas prices are increasing because of speculation and Iran saber-rattling, not increased demand.  In fact, gasoline demand is at its lowest level in the US since 1997.

 

Obama released 30 million barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve last year in response to disruptions in oil supplies caused by conflict in Libya.

 

Audio of Braley discussing his call for Obama to open the Strategic Petroleum Reserve during his weekly press conference call can be downloaded at the following link: http://www.mydigitalmanager.com/index.php?a=ViewItem&i=4814

 

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Historic Hotels of America recognizes "creative rehabilitation efforts"

Davenport, IA - Hotel Blackhawk has just been named a Preservation Success Story Award Honorable Mention winner by the Historic Hotels of America - a part of the National Trust For Historic Preservation. The award was officially announced Dec. 1st.

According to organization Executive Director Thierry Roch, the award exemplifies "creative rehabilitation efforts undertaken to recapture, promote and glorify the property's original use in a preservation sensitive manner."

This caps a year of recognition for Hotel Blackhawk. It earned a "Smart Meetings" Platinum Choice Award for 2011 marking excellence in service and amenities among meeting facilities in the United States, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean. Then, management was informed it would be featured as a must-see destination in a book from The New York Times entitled "36 Hours, 150 weekends in the USA and Canada."

"It's thrilling to see the vision of Amrit and Amy Gill of Restoration Saint Louis and the City of Davenport rewarded by Historic Hotels of America, Smart Meetings and The New York Times," said General Manager Tim Heim. "It was the vision of restoring a jewel which has been realized by me and my staff. It provides great satisfaction that preservationists, industry observers, guests and clients have recognized this gift as well."

Hotel Blackhawk re-opened December 15th, 2010. The hotel retains its 95-year-old historic character while featuring modern conveniences throughout the 130 guestrooms and extended-stay suites, eight meeting rooms and up to 300-person banquet capacity in the signature Gold Room.

Other features include wireless internet, a fitness center, business center, swimming pool, hot tub, Spa Luce (lu-CHAY), Milan Flower Shop, the Bix Bistro restaurant, the Beignet (been-YAY) Done That coffee shop and Blackhawk Bowl & Martini Lounge. The hotel is part of the Summit Hotels & Resorts group (www.summithotels.com) and the Historic Hotels of America network (www.historichotels.org).

For more, visit www.hotelblackhawk.com or find us on www.facebook.com (Search: Hotel Blackhawk).

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LAKE JACKSON, Texas - See below for statement from campaign of 2012 Republican Presidential candidate Ron Paul.
From National Campaign Chairman Jesse Benton:

"Ron Paul's 'Restore America Plan', which some have called the boldest plan to reduce the federal deficit, proposes $1 trillion in federal spending in the first year, and it balances the federal budget in year three of a Paul Presidency. 

"The plan cuts spending by ending the costly unconstitutional foreign wars, and cuts foreign welfare, corporate welfare, and overgrown federal bureaucracy.

"These cuts are made so that those who are dependent on domestic spending programs such as Medicare aren't endangered through a sudden change in benefits.

"Mitt Romney's economic plan makes only nominal cuts yet it manages to cut spending from Medicare benefits, the same benefits on which many elderly Americans have come to rely. 

"That's a shame because not only are the cuts disingenuous but the protections seniors are counting on are absent from a proposal that Mitt Romney regards as 'bold' and fair.

"Ron Paul's ambitious plan also cuts taxes, authorizes a comprehensive audit of the Federal Reserve, and reins in dangerous government intervention by curtailing runaway spending and regulatory overreaches.

"Today's government-imposed economic weakness demands action.  Ron Paul is the only candidate with the experience and plan to get Americans back to work and create lasting prosperity."

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Labor Agreements Solidify Chicago's Position as Most Customer-Friendly Convention and Trade Show Venue in the Country

CHICAGO - October 21, 2011. Governor Pat Quinn and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel today announced agreements with two McCormick Place labor groups that will preserve Chicago's status as the country's premier convention destination. These agreements, forged under the leadership of Governor Quinn and Mayor Emanuel in strong partnership with the Chicago Regional Council of Carpenters and Teamsters Local 727, solidify the reforms enacted last year and end the uncertainty surrounding Illinois' vital convention industry.

"McCormick Place is a cornerstone of Illinois' economy, and we weren't going to stop working with our labor partners until we delivered the reforms needed to bring more shows and jobs to our state," Governor Quinn said. "These historic reforms will save exhibitors money by giving them the flexibility they need and help to attract even more shows to Illinois, while making sure the many hard-working men and women who support McCormick Place stay on the job."

"McCormick Place is a major economic engine for the City of Chicago, bringing more than 3 million visitors to the city every year," said Mayor Emanuel. "I am grateful that labor is our partner in implementing these reforms that will keep thousands of Chicagoans working, save exhibitors money and ensure our city remains a competitive destination and leader in the convention and tradeshow industry."

Settlements reached with the Chicago Regional Council of Carpenters and Teamsters Local 727 will end their federal lawsuits challenging some of the reform measures passed into law in 2010. Those reforms were hailed by industry groups who have pushed for years for measures that would keep Chicago competitive with other convention cities.

Under the agreements, the major reforms passed in 2010 will remain intact. The Exhibitors' Bill of Rights allows show managers and exhibitors to perform their own work in any size booth, using their own ladders or hand tools, cordless tools and power tools. Exhibitors will also be allowed to operate, load and unload their own vehicles at McCormick Place. Additionally, work will also now be able to be done by two-person work crews instead of the three-person crews required prior to the reforms.

MPEA Trustee Jim Reilly says the agreement will help ensure that Chicago keeps pace with its key competitors. "We made changes last year in direct response to what our customers demanded. Now, working in partnership with labor, we have overcome some of the biggest obstacles to our efforts to lure new shows to the city. It is especially gratifying that all of the elements of the Chicago Trade Show industry - the City, the State, the Carpenters, the Teamsters and Freeman and GES - came together and generously contributed to reaching this historic settlement."

Other reforms, including reduced parking rates, lower food and beverage pricing, enhanced menu options, and free Wi-Fi access, will remain. Show organizers will also be allowed to choose electrical service providers from a list of approved vendors that will lead to cost savings through competitive pricing. In addition, the city of Chicago will complement an existing state program by committing resources to a promotional campaign that will highlight the new competitive measures reached in this agreement with the goal of attracting even more shows to McCormick Place.

"Throughout this process, our goal has been to ensure that McCormick Place continues to set the standard for convention excellence," said Frank Libby, President of the Chicago Regional Council of Carpenters. "This agreement will help our members stay on the job and keep Chicago's trade show industry healthy for years to come."

"Our members remain committed to keeping McCormick Place a sought-after venue for conventions from around the country," said John Coli, President of Teamsters Joint Council 25. "This agreement clears the way for McPier to continue to grow its business."

"These agreements demonstrate the commitment from the men and women of organized labor to keep Chicago a premiere convention destination," said Chicago Federation of Labor President Jorge Ramirez. "By working in a collaborative way, we were able to take steps that will benefit the city of the Chicago and the entire region."

"This is an extremely important sign that all of the key parties involved understand the importance of the trade show industry in Chicago and how critical this agreement is to a successful future," said Peter Eelman, Vice President-Exhibitions and Communications for The Association for Manufacturing Technology. "Earlier this year, the Mayor and the Governor committed to the trade show community that the positive changes introduced last year would be sustained, and we are pleased to see that all parties have come together to deliver on that commitment."

McCormick Place is the cornerstone of Illinois' Convention and Tourism industry, supporting 66,000 jobs and generating $8 billion in spending each year. It acts as a magnet for Chicago, attracting millions of business leaders from around the globe who stay in hotels, dine out, shop and experience the city's world-class culture and entertainment.

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I thought you might be interested to see these statements of support on USDA's Conservation Reserve Program, which announced today payments to help safeguard soil and water on 417,000 farms. See today's press release from USDA's Farm Service Agency at the end of this alert.

Thank you.

David Nomsen, Vice President of Governmental Affairs for Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever

"CRP delivers habitat to wildlife. Examples range from doubling and tripling local pheasant populations to adding two million ducks annually to fall migrations and preventing species from being listed as threatened and endangered. America needs a strong CRP, along with an entire suite of other voluntary incentive-based conservation programs, as the starting point to sustain continued agricultural production."

John Salazar, Colorado Agriculture Commissioner

"The Conservation Reserve Program has a significant environmental impact, not only across the country, but in Colorado as well. This program encourages sound conservation practices that will have lasting benefits for generations to come.  Agricultural producers have long held the responsibility of protecting our natural resources and the CRP is a vital resource in that effort."

Bill Northey, Iowa Agriculture Secretary

"The Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) is a very important USDA program helping farmers better care for their land and protect water quality. Iowa landowners continue to add acres in the continuous enrollment CRP, which is especially valuable in targeting benefits to the most sensitive acres. Over 50,000 Iowa farms have at least some of their acres enrolled in CRP, with payments to Iowa landowners exceeding $200 million."

 

Release No. PENDING                   

Contact:

Isabel Benemelis (202) 720-7809

 

USDA Issues Conservation Reserve Program Rental Payments to Help Safeguard Soil and Water on 417,000 Farms

WASHINGTON, Oct. 6, 2011–The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will distribute Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) rental payments to participants across the country. USDA's Farm Service Agency administers CRP, while technical support functions are provided by public and private sector partners. CRP is a voluntary program that helps agricultural producers safeguard environmentally sensitive land and provide millions of acres of habitat for game and non-game wildlife species. Participants enroll in CRP contracts for 10 to 15 years. Currently, total CRP enrollment stands at 29.9 million acres.

"CRP protects millions of acres of American topsoil from erosion and is designed to safeguard the America's natural resources," said FSA Administrator Bruce Nelson. "By reducing water runoff and sedimentation, CRP protects groundwater and helps improve the condition of lakes, rivers, ponds, and streams. Acreage enrolled in the CRP is planted to resource-conserving vegetative covers, making the program a major contributor to increased wildlife populations in many parts of the country."

The Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) makes annual rental payments based on the agriculture rental value of the land, and it provides cost-share assistance for up to 50 percent of the participant's costs in establishing approved conservation practices.

USDA also issues non-rental CRP payments throughout the year. These payments include a 50 percent expense reimbursement for establishing and managing cover as well as incentive payments for enrolling eligible high priority conservation practices.

Beginning today, producers holding 752,000 contracts on 417,000 farms will receive an average CRP rental payment of $55.06 per acre. Producers will earn an average payment of $4,115 per farm enrolled in the program. Included in the totals are 414,000 contracts (5.1 million acres) for continuous CRP enrollments and 338,000 contracts (24.8 million acres) enrolled under general CRP. In all, the payments total approximately $1.7 billion.

A table, located below and at fsa.usda.gov/Internet/FSA_File/apportstate091311.pdf, lists acreage enrollments by state, number of contracts, number of farms, acres enrolled as of the end of the 2011 fiscal year and CRP projected rental payments for fiscal year 2012.

 

CRP ENROLLMENT AS OF SEPTEMBER 2011

AND OCTOBER 2011 RENTAL PAYMENTS

STATE

NUMBER OF CONTRACTS

NUMBER OF FARMS

ACRES ENROLLED

RENTAL PAYMENTS

ALABAMA

9,093

6,480

395,901

$18,141,752

ALASKA

42

27

19,013

$668,053

ARKANSAS

5,956

3,299

250,340

$14,936,106

CALIFORNIA

499

387

122,237

$4,659,639

COLORADO

12,719

6,194

2,235,943

$73,650,439

CONNECTICUT

15

13

140

$9,162

DELAWARE

665

349

6,862

$766,093

FLORIDA

1,324

1,070

56,729

$2,275,180

GEORGIA

9,095

6,465

319,923

$15,014,654

HAWAII

9

9

167

$9,632

IDAHO

5,213

2,993

670,935

$29,621,296

ILLINOIS

82,534

45,127

1,037,082

$118,721,765

INDIANA

38,337

21,468

285,976

$31,139,269

IOWA

106,772

53,601

1,666,077

$212,962,880

KANSAS

47,264

26,905

2,736,915

$109,709,259

KENTUCKY

17,636

9,463

358,796

$39,807,984

LOUISIANA

5,047

3,211

327,080

$20,126,120

MAINE

678

470

17,936

$928,192

MARYLAND

6,456

3,533

79,171

$10,912,633

MASSACHUSETTS

4

4

15

$2,566

MICHIGAN

15,236

8,723

229,102

$20,186,751

MINNESOTA

63,119

33,153

1,636,074

$110,093,906

MISSISSIPPI

19,879

12,498

852,099

$40,940,444

MISSOURI

36,532

21,133

1,362,793

$100,874,589

MONTANA

15,267

6,018

2,860,998

$91,784,050

NEBRASKA

28,249

15,840

1,079,983

$65,437,490

NEW HAMPSHIRE

5

5

58

$3,222

NEW JERSEY

290

203

2,586

$180,757

NEW MEXICO

2,006

1,292

455,015

$15,239,837

NEW YORK

2,885

2,038

53,152

$3,711,019

NORTH CAROLINA

8,088

5,279

117,787

$8,076,182

NORTH DAKOTA

34,445

16,864

2,648,185

$95,840,798

OHIO

38,342

21,362

344,240

$41,058,917

OKLAHOMA

7,501

5,081

862,412

$28,890,320

OREGON

4,296

2,271

551,008

$28,631,923

PENNSYLVANIA

12,127

7,620

220,386

$22,658,340

PUERTO RICO

19

19

2,032

$129,681

SOUTH CAROLINA

7,665

4,318

159,085

$6,093,795

SOUTH DAKOTA

31,894

14,884

1,161,293

$65,161,870

TENNESSEE

7,356

4,883

204,698

$13,718,350

TEXAS

22,121

16,240

3,457,323

$124,337,837

UTAH

883

535

163,197

$5,082,238

VERMONT

381

270

2,835

$282,166

VIRGINIA

5,860

4,473

63,255

$3,743,311

WASHINGTON

12,477

5,182

1,459,939

$81,331,355

WEST VIRGINIA

463

377

5,945

$437,397

WISCONSIN

24,647

15,103

398,918

$31,852,908

WYOMING

972

653

226,591

$6,161,981

NOT REPORED 1/

1

1

28

$2,284

TOTALS

752,364

417,386

31,168,255

$1,716,006,394

1/ Data from States with fewer than 4 contracts not reported.

 

For more information on CRP, producers should contact their local FSA office or visit FSA's website at www.fsa.usda.gov.

During July and August, purple coneflowers and prairie blazing star add touches of lavender to Iowa road ditches planted in native prairie plants. Clusters of bright orange butterfly milkweed, compass plants extending large yellow, daisy-like flowers high above yellow seas of gray-headed coneflowers create mid-summer interest along roadways and prairie areas.

Iowans curious about the use of native plants and the state's work restoring and preserving prairie vegetation should attend the Iowa Master Gardener (MG) summer series webinar July 26. The webinar will be hosted by the ISU Scott County Extension office, 875 Tanglefoot Lane Bettendorf from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. The webinar is open to the public and the cost is $5.00. Master Gardeners can earn two hours of update training by attending.

"Tallgrass Prairies of Iowa" is the topic of the webinar, the third in a series of four Garden Natives and Invasives 2011 sessions offered by the Master Gardener program. Daryl Smith, from the Tallgrass Prairie Center and University of Northern Iowa, is the July 26 presenter. He will share the history and reach of the Tallgrass Prairie Center and tell how the mission of the center to 'develop research, techniques, education and Source Identified seed for restoration and preservation of prairie vegetation' is carried out in the state.

The webinar series is made possible by the Iowa Master Gardener program, Iowa State University Extension and Department of Horticulture. The final webinar in the series, scheduled for August 23, will highlight the importance of native species, discuss the problems and related issues with invasive species in Iowa.

Contact your county extension office for more information about Iowa Master Gardeners or the webinar series.

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Annual funding to housing authorities a down payment toward addressing

$25.6B backlog in large-scale repair, renovation costs

WASHINGTON - U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan today awarded $5,118,535 to public housing authorities in Iowa.  The funds will allow these agencies to make major large-scale improvements to their public housing units.  View a full list of public housing authorities receiving funding.

HUD's Capital Fund Program provides annual funding to all public housing authorities to build, repair, renovate and/or modernize the public housing in their communities. This funding can be used to make large-scale improvements such as new roofs and to make energy-efficient upgrades to replace old plumbing and electrical systems.

"While this funding will certainly help housing authorities address long-standing capital improvements, it only scratches the surface in addressing the deep backlog we're seeing across the country," said Donovan.  "Housing Authorities need nearly $26 billion to keep these homes safe and decent for families, but given our budget realities, we must find other, innovative ways to confront the decline of our public housing stock.  That's why we introduced our new Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) as part of our comprehensive strategy to keep these homes on firm financial footing."

Sandra B. Henriquez, HUD Assistant Secretary for Public and Indian Housing, added, "Unless we transform the way we fund our public housing authorities, local managers will be increasingly forced to choose between repairing roofs, replacing plumbing, or worst of all, demolishing or selling their properties.  We simply can't afford to let that happen."

Earlier this month, HUD released Capital Needs in the Public Housing Program, a study that updated the national estimate of capital needs in the public housing stock in the U.S.  The study found the nation's 1.2 million public housing units are facing an estimated $25.6 billion in much-needed large scale repairs.  Unlike routine maintenance, capital needs are the large-scale improvements required to make the housing decent and economically sustainable, such as replacing roofs or updating plumbing and electrical systems to increase energy efficiency.  This study updates a 1998 analysis and includes costs to address overdue repairs, accessibility improvements for disabled residents, lead abatement, and water and energy conservation that would make the homes more cost effective and energy efficient.

Over the last 75 years, the Federal Government has invested billions in the development and maintenance of public and multifamily housing - including providing critical support through HUD's Capital Fund. Still, the nation continues to lose thousands of public housing units annually, primarily due to disrepair.  To protect the considerable Federal investment and respond to the growing demand for affordable rental housing, the Obama Administration has proposed a comprehensive strategy to preserve this inventory. HUD's Transforming Rental Assistance Initiative will allow housing authorities to leverage public and private financing to address capital needs and make public housing units affordable for the long term.

In FY 2012, HUD is requesting $200 million for a Transforming Rental Assistance demonstration to rehabilitate federally subsidized affordable housing, including public and multifamily housing units.  The Rental Assistance Demonstration would allow owners to continue to make standard life-cycle improvements to this inventory, modernize or replace obsolete units, and stem the loss of stock from private sector partners choosing to opt-out of affordable housing programs. The funds used to bring 255,000 properties into a reliable, long term, project-based rental assistance contract will enable public housing authorities to raise more than $6.1 billion in private financing to reduce the large backlog of capital repair needs and in the process, support significant job creation in communities across the country.

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Washington, D.C. - Today, the leadership of the Populist Caucus applauded President Obama's decision to open the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. The president's decision comes almost a month after the Populist Caucus called on him to open the Reserve and bring relief to millions of Americans who are faced with sky-rocketing gas prices. 

Congressman Bruce Braley (IA-01), Chair of the Populist Caucus, said:

"As the Populist Caucus made clear last month, opening the Strategic Petroleum Reserve is a huge step towards bringing down gas prices and providing relief to millions of hard-working families that are struggling to make ends meet. I'm glad the President took this action. But we all know this is a temporary solution and more must be done to stop greedy oil speculators from driving up prices throughout the summer. That's why the Populist Caucus will continue to work to implement its "Gas Is Too Damn High" platform to bring down gas prices for middle class families and all Americans."

Congressman Peter DeFazio (OR-04), Vice Chair of the Populist Caucus, said:

"This is good news for American consumers and bad news for speculators on Wall Street. Over 70 cents per gallon of gas is a direct result of excessive Wall Street speculation. The release of this oil undermines speculative trading and brings some relief to middle class families at the pump. This is a good first step, but more must be done to stabilize prices and rein in speculators gaming the system."

Congresswoman Donna Edwards (MD-04), ViceChair of the Populist Caucus, said:

"I applaud President Obama's decision to open the Strategic Petroleum Reserve and relieve some of the financial burden caused by high gas prices. This is the first of three steps outlined by the Populist Caucus. Now, we must focus on ending greedy oil speculation and tax breaks for big oil companies. American families deserve to pay a fair price at the pump, and the Populist Caucus will continue to urge our Congressional colleagues and the President to join us in meeting this goal."

Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (CT-03), Vice Chair of the Populist Caucus, said:

"I am very pleased with the President's decision to release some of oil held in our Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR). This move will help calm the markets by making it clear that we do not have a supply problem?and will help to curb the undue speculation that has been driving the price of oil higher and higher. With the Republican budget cuts to the Commodity FuturesTrading Commission (CFTC), which could regulate unfair speculation if fully funded, the President's action is critical. Releasing oil from the SPR will help to protect American consumers at the pump, and I will continue to work with mycolleagues and the President to lower the cost of gas."

Congresswoman Betty Sutton (OH-13), Vice Chair of the Populist Caucus, said:

"No family should have to choose between filling up their tank or putting food on the table. I applaud President Obama for taking this bold action that will ease the burden facing Ohio families and help Ohio businesses put people back to work.

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Preserving the bounty of your garden harvest each fall can lead to enjoying the fruitsof your labor all winter long. It's important to keep food safety in mind every step of the way. Home food preservation is not difficult but it does require following specific directions exactly. Always use tested recipes and directions from a reliable source. Ignoring recommended procedures can result in home canned products that will makeyou and your family very ill.

Vera Stokes, ISU Extension Nutrition and Health Program Specialist, 563-210-0587, vstokes@iastate.edu is offering a workshop, Home Food Preservation 101, Friday, June 24, 10:30am - Noon at the Davenport Public Library on Eastern Avenue.

The workshop is intended for those wanting to learn how to safely preserve food and will also serve as a good refresher for those who have experience preserving food. The workshop is free and will cover canning, freezing, drying, pickling and making jams and jellies.

Pressure canner gauge testing will be from Noon - 2 p.m. at the same location. Pressure canners with a dial-type pressure gauge should be tested each year for accuracy. To have a dial-gauge tested, bring the canner lid only - the entire canneris not needed. It is not necessary to test weighted or rocker-type pressure regulators because they cannot be adjusted and will usually remain accurate.

Participants will receive current ISUE food preservation publications and additional research based resources will be on display.
To register for the Home Food Preservation workshop only, call the ISU Scott County Extension office at 359-7577 by June 23, 2011.

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