Fight Sequestration Now! Sequestration
the dreaded $1.2 trillion of automatic across-the-board cuts in
federal spending due to take effect in January, unless members
of Congress can agree on a plan to control spending and reduce the
federal deficit. The funding cuts would affect the defense budget,
but make their greatest impact on non-defense “discretionary”
spending like education. Education funds alone will shrink by close
to $5 billion, leading to serious losses of school staff, programs
and student services if Congress does not act.
But PTA advocates are determined that it will! Towards that goal,
National PTA has released the Stop Sequestration Toolkit
wealth of information and materials local, region, and state PTAs
can put to immediate use to press Congress to take action. Just a
few weeks remain for legislators to find a solution before it’s too
late. So PTA members need to move fast to get their message heard.
You can find the Toolkit
, along with talking points and customizable tools for your
advocacy campaign. Estimated cuts in federal and state program can
Hot Off the Press: NPTA Position on Teacher/Principal Evaluations
Responding to requests for guidance amid the controversies over new
teacher/principal evaluation systems, the National PTA Board of
Directors has just adopted a position statement called Development
and Implementation of Teacher and Principal Evaluation Systems
complete position statement, plus a helpful FAQ, can be found
Clean Air in Enclosed Ice Arenas
Research shows that Zamboni ice resurfacers
can emit harmful gases and particulate matter inhaled by all in the
arena. Children skating on the ice are especially at risk. Ask these
questions of the management at your local ice arena:
- What type of ice resurfacer is used in the arena - gasoline, propane
with or without a catalytic convertor, or electric?
- Where and how long is the engine warmed up before they start
resurfacing the ice? Warm-ups reduce amount of emissions of gases.
- What type of ventilation system is there? Mechanical exhaust systems
have a direct line from the garage to the outdoor environment and
fresh air supply to the rink surface, which is better than exhaust
- Is there continuous ventilation of air during the time the rink is
- Are arena doors open during and after resurfacing? Are the rink
doors open during ice resurfacing to allow for better ventilation?
- Is there regular monitoring of the ambient conditions and is there
enforcement of these standards?
- Are the operators trained in effective techniques of resurfacing in
a manner to reduce emissions?
- Are there warning signs of the potential hazards of particulate
matter, CO and NO2 poisoning, as well as education seminars for rink
staff, coaches and patrons?
- Is there a prudent emergency plan in case of a poisoning
NYS DOH Fact Sheet:
What You Need to Know about Carbon Monoxide
Exposure to carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide in enclosed ice
High levels of airborne ultrafine and fine particulate matter in
indoor ice arenas
Research at UC Davis has found that the chemical triclosan
found in many antibacterial hand soaps, impairs muscle function at
the cellular level. The evidence is believed strong enough to say
that triclosan is a chemical of “concern to both human and
environmental health.” Triclosan is also found in deodorants,
mouthwashes, toothpaste, bedding, carpets, toys and trash bags.
Experiments used levels of triclosan similar to those people and
animals are exposed to daily. For more info, click
The NYS Department of Health has issued a warning about
due to improper use of alternate power
sources post Superstorm Sandy. Click
for more info.
HEADS UP on Brain Injuries
The Centers for Disease Control have
introduced a series of public service announcements entitled
“New Heads Up: Brain Injury.” These PSAs will feature MLB
Network’s Eric Byrnes:
The CDC offers many resources to educate the public on
concussion in sports and promote prevention, recognition and
response (PRR) to traumatic brain injury