Firstly, here’s the new issue of TechKNOW, out of Kent State U. I stuck more stuff I stole from Alterman behind the cut.
BTW, speaking of Alterman: I think the guy’s a snob, but I’ve never met him and my opinion really doesn’t count, anyway. The fact is he’s a great writer, and he wrote a terrific article for this book which has been on the shelves for a while now. (Buy the book.) The publishers are the same people who published this book, which you should also buy. (Buy this book, too.) Finally, I met this author at her book release party a couple of weeks ago and this author, who just got back from the Daily Kos road show in Vegas, a month or so ago at his book release event, and you should buy these books too.
(The fact that these books are published by my brother-in-law does not in any way mean that they’re not worth shelling out money for. Remember (I say as I flick the ‘on’ switch to my MIB neuralizer), the small press is good . . . the small press is good . . . buy these books . . .)
This from Bruce Craig and the National Coalition for History:
1. HOUSE CUTS NARA FUNDING BY $8 MILLION
a surprise move on the floor of the House of Representatives, on 14
June 2006, the lower chamber cut the proposed budget for the National
Archives and Records Administration (NARA) by $8 million. A higher
level budget had been approved by the House Appropriations Committee
and its Subcommittee on Transportation, Treasury, Housing and Urban
Development, the Judiciary, and the District of Columbia. If the
Senate agrees with the House the net result would signal (to quote a
"dismayed" Archivist of the United States Allen Weinstein) "a very
austere year" in FY 2007 for NARA – one that would mean a reduction of
hours of operations, partial closings of researcher reading rooms on
nights and weekends, and even possible furloughing of employees.
cut took National Archives and Records Administration (NARA)
legislative staff and the House Appropriations Members and staff by
surprise; there was no advance notice of the proposed amendment. The
amendment, sponsored by Representatives Darlene Hooley (D-OR) and
joined by Kenny C. Hulshof (R-MO) and Ike Skelton (D-MO) sought to
restore funding (including $8 million from the NARA budget) for a drug
interdiction initiative that had been zeroed out of the federal
budget. The initiative seeks to help curb the extensive abuse of
congresswoman recommended taking the money from NARA’s budget as she
needed to find an "offset" (when Congress adds money to a bill, an
"offset" must be found and the budget for that program reduced by an
equal amount) in order to fund the interdiction program.
the funding plight of the interdiction program was recognized by
Congressman Knollenberg (R-MI), Chairman of the Transportation/Treasury
Appropriations Subcommittee, he vigorously opposed funding proposal at
the expense of NARA’s budget. The chairman told his colleagues that
the National Archives was already struggling to fund a $12 million
shortfall, and that the agency is considering other measures to save
money in addition to the hiring freeze (see related story below).
During the first vote the amendment was defeated, but Rep. Hooley
demanded a roll call vote; the final vote on the amendment was 348 yeas
to 76 nays, with 8 members not voting. As a result, NARA’s proposed
funding shortfall in FY 2007 is now over $20 million.
conversations between the National Coalition for History and Senate
appropriations staff and others on Capitol Hill, most insiders believe
the Senate will not agree to the proposed offset and that the $8
million will be restored by the Senate in conference when the bill is
reconsidered by representatives of both houses.
also report that when the Senate takes up the NARA funding bill
(probably after the July 4 recess) the Senate is likely to agree with
the House on the need to provide some level of funding for the National
Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC). While the
president proposed zero funds for the NHPRC, the House approved funding
at $7.5 million ($5.5 for grants; $2 million for administration and
staffing). The Senate is expected to provide funding for the NHPRC at
a level consistent with the House.
of Representatives Hooley, Hulshof, and Skelton may wish to contact
their member (write, e-mail, or call — the capitol switchboard number
is (202) 224-3121 and express their views on the amendment that was
offered and let them know about the devastating impact it conceivably
would have on NARA’s ability to serve the public.
2. NARA IN FISCAL TROUBLE – HIRING FREEZE AND OTHER MEASURES PLANNED
National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) plans on
instituting a hiring freeze and other steps – including an early
retirement buy-out program for qualified employees – in order to
minimized an anticipated budget shortfall for this and next year.
Congressionally-mandated pay raises, higher facility rents, and
increases in energy costs in facilities nationwide account for some of
the projected funding shortfall, the fact is that personnel costs make
up the largest part of NARA’s operational expenses. According to NARA
officials "these costs must be reduced." Consequently, a hiring freeze
is set to begin 3 July. It will effect only those positions funded by
the agency’s core operational funds and will not effect positions
funded from NARA’s Revolving Fund, Trust Fund, through the ERA
appropriation, or through most reimbursable programs.
addition to instituting the hiring freeze, NARA anticipates taking
additional action to reduce the budget: there will be opportunities for
employees to take an early retirement, and a reduction of hours of
operation for both the research and exhibition sides of NARA – that
move is anticipated to hit the genealogical community and other
researchers, as well as the visiting public especially hard.