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Nominee for Chief Counsel for Advocacy Confirmed by Senate

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Washington, D.C. - Dr. Winslow Sargeant was confirmed as Chief Counsel for Advocacy by the U.S. Senate today. Dr. Sargeant is the sixth presidentially appointed and Senate-confirmed Chief Counsel for the Office of Advocacy.

Dr. Sargeant has been serving as Chief Counsel since August of 2010 under a recess appointment. Under his leadership Advocacy has held more than 40 small business roundtables to hear from small businesses on their issues and concerns. Dr. Sargeant has traveled to all ten federal regions, with visits to 23 states to meet with entrepreneurs and small business owners. In addition, the Office of Advocacy has filed 56 public comment letters with federal agencies trying to mitigate the impact of their proposed regulations on small business.

"It is inspiring to witness this country's entrepreneurial spirit and it is an honor to represent small businesses every day," said Dr. Sargeant. "I would like to thank President Obama, the Senate, and the small business organizations and entrepreneurs who have supported my nomination."

Prior to serving as Chief Counsel, Dr. Sargeant was managing director of Venture Investors, LLC, in Madison, Wisconsin. The firm provided seed and early-stage money to high-potential health care and IT companies. Dr. Sargeant received his Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Dr. Sargeant and partners co-founded Aanetcom, a "fabless" semiconductor integrated circuit design company. The company designed state-of the-art computer circuits for telecom and broadband applications. In March 2000, Aanetcom was acquired by PMC-Sierra, a publicly traded company.

"My background gives me the unique perspective to understand the challenges that our entrepreneurs face day in and day out. As Chief Counsel I am dedicated to working on their behalf and fighting for their interests in Washington," said Sargeant.

The Office of Advocacy of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is an independent voice for small business within the federal government. The presidentially appointed and Senate confirmed Chief Counsel for Advocacy advances the views, concerns, and interests of small business before Congress, the White House, federal agencies, federal courts, and state policymakers. Regional advocates and an office in Washington, D.C., support the Chief Counsel's efforts. For more information, visit http://www.sba.gov/advocacy, or call (202) 205-6533.

See full press release: http://www.sba.gov/advocacy/809/32791

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Thanksgiving Travel Safety Tips

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It Doesn't Matter If You Travel by Plane or Car Here Are Some Important Tips
CJMathis, Yahoo! Contributor Network
Source: associatedcontent.com/article/5874688/thanksgiving_travel_safety_tips.html

Traveling during the holiday seasons can be a bit touchy. Here are 5 tips to keep travelers safe this Thanksgiving when traveling by car and 5 tips to keep travelers safe when traveling by air. My family travels all year around and finds these tips are always helpful to keep our family safe.

Thanksgiving Driving Safety Tip 1 - Plan to leave a day early this year and beat the traffic. Thanksgiving is the start of the largest holiday travel season. Beat those others who are on the road by planning ahead a bit on the time guideline. Same with your return trip this year plan to stay one extra day before the return drive.

Thanksgiving Driving Safety Tip 2 - Check that automobile and make sure it is sound, enough air in the tires, oil change on time before you leave, water in the windshield wipers, seatbelts are strong and safe, engine is running good no strange noises and be sure to check the brakes.

Thanksgiving Driving Safety Tip 3 - Pack some snacks and drinks (water preferably), these snacks will help you to keep that blood sugar levels even while driving for a few hours behind the wheel of the car.

Thanksgiving Driving Safety Tip 4 - Stop along the way. It is a good idea to stop every 2 or 3 hours and get out of the car. Let the kids run around for about 15 minutes. Don't be in a hurry to reach your destination. It may even be nice to plan a couple of side trips at interesting areas for keeping your brain working strong. Continue Reading.

Source: associatedcontent.com/article/5874688/thanksgiving_travel_safety_tips.html

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FMSCA Figures Show Improved Trucking Safety Record

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By Eric Miller, Staff Reporter
Source: ttnews.com/articles/basetemplate.aspx?storyid=28090

The number of large truck-involved fatal crashes declined by nearly one-third from 2007-2009, according to a new Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration statistical report.

The most recent fatality rates and numbers — which were quietly posted on FMCSA’s website last month — showed that crashes declined to 3,215, from 4,633.

It also said that number of large trucks in fatal crashes per 100 million vehicle miles traveled dropped in those same years from 1.32 to 1.12 — a downturn of 26%.

Fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles traveled declined to 1.17 in 2009, from 1.59 in 2007.

Since 2000, the fatal crash rate for large trucks has fallen 54.5% - more than twice as much as the passenger vehicle fatal crash rate, which dropped just 25% in the same time period...
Continue reading.

Source: ttnews.com/articles/basetemplate.aspx?storyid=28090

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Driver Shortage, Tight Fleet Capacity Fuel Growth of Intermodal Shipping

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By Rip Watson, Senior Reporter
This story appears in the Nov. 14 print edition of Transport Topics.

The truck driver shortage and related fleet capacity constraints are driving strong growth in domestic intermodal hauling as carriers and shippers try to ensure they have freight-moving options in the months ahead, industry experts said.

Intermodal’s rising profile is spotlighted in railroad reports of double-digit volume growth, comments from trucking executives and a comparison of truckload and intermodal loads.

Largest intermodal rail carrier BNSF Railway boosted domestic intermodal shipments 11% in the first 10 months of this year, while Norfolk Southern Corp. and CSX Corp. also reported double-digit domestic volume growth.

“Almost every shipper I’ve talked to is looking at how they can increase intermodal,” said trucker Ike Brown, vice chairman of NFI Industries, Vineland, N.J., which ranks No. 24 on Transport Topics Top 100 for-hire carriers in the United States and Canada. “That is being driven mostly by the demographics of the driver situation,” Brown said, referring to the aging of the commercial truck-driver corps.

Click here to read the full article. (Free 14 Days Subscription Available)

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Senate Committee OKs Highway Bill

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By Michele Fuetsch, Staff Reporter
This story appears in the Nov. 14 print edition of Transport Topics.


The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee last week approved a transportation bill that would authorize $84 billion in highway spending over two years, the first such measure to move in Congress since the previous funding legislation expired in 2009.

Sponsored by two Republicans and two Democrats, the measure was sent to the full Senate on Nov. 9, although identified revenue sources to fund it fell $12 billion short.

Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), the panel’s highest-ranking Republican, said the vote was “predicated” on finding additional revenue to fully fund the measure. “It’s not going to go anywhere outside of this committee until we find that funding,” he said.

Introduced Nov. 4, the bill contains several proposals that would affect trucking, including creation of a national program designed to speed freight along the nation’s highways

Click here to read the full article (Free 14 Days Subscription Available)

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Team truck drivers becoming scarcer than solos, brokerage exec says

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By Mark B. Solomon
DC Velocity
Source: dcvelocity.com/articles/20111116_team_truck_drivers_becoming_scarce/

Team drivers "are like gold," says head of Con-way Multimodal.

The president of the brokerage division of transport logistics giant Con-way Inc. said it is becoming increasingly difficult to attract and retain two-person team drivers, an important factor in carriers' ability to execute long-haul deliveries of high-value, time-sensitive shipments such as perishables.

C. Thomas Barnes, president of Aurora, Ill.-based Con-way Multimodal, said that while the brokerage is not having much trouble locating solo drivers to move his customers' loads, procuring team drivers is another story. Finding teams is a "much bigger issue" than obtaining the services of solo drivers, Barnes said, adding that "teams are like gold."

In an interview with DC Velocity on Monday at the National Industrial Transportation League's annual meeting in Atlanta, Barnes said team drivers are in short supply for the same reasons that plague companies seeking qualified long-haul truckload drivers, namely a difficult work-life balance and relatively low pay for long hours on the road. In addition, team drivers are often asked to handle specialized freight such as perishables and hazardous materials because those commodities often require fast deliveries—usually in less than three days—over long distances.

Finding team drivers certified to transport hazardous materials is probably the most formidable of the recruitment challenges, said Barnes, who estimated that "specialized" commodities account for about 35 percent of Con-way Multimodal's traffic mix... Continue reading...

Source: dcvelocity.com/articles/20111116_team_truck_drivers_becoming_scarce/

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Comprehensive Truck Safety Data Shows Trucking as Safe as Ever

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By Lyndon Finney
The Trucker Staff
Source: thetrucker.com/News/Stories/2011/11/16/Comprehensivetrucksafetydatashowstruckingassafeasever.aspx

WASHINGTON — The Analysis Division of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has published its comprehensive safety report on large trucks for 2009, and while the information about the total number of truck-related fatalities was not new (3,380 in 2009 versus 4,245 as reported in 2008), the report delivered additional, in-depth data that shows the trucking industry is as safe as it ever has been.

Meanwhile, the fact that the FMCSA did not publicize the report has become a story in itself.

“Based on the report, fatal crashes involving a large truck have fallen 31 percent from 2007 to 2009 and crashes resulting in injury have fallen 30 percent,” ATA President and CEO Bill Graves said. He praised the efforts of the nation’s truck drivers, safety directors and law enforcement officers for their contributions to the continued progress in the industry’s safety record.

The report shows that the large truck fatal crash rate fell to 1.04 crashes per 100 million miles in 2009, down from 1.21 in 2008, and that since 2000, the fatal crash rate for large trucks has declined 54.5 percent, more than twice the passenger vehicle crash rate.

“These safety gains,” Graves said, “are the result of many things — sensible regulation, improvements in technology, slower more fuel efficient driving, the dedication of professional drivers and safety directors — as well as more effective enforcement techniques that look at all the factors involved in crashes, not just a select few.”

Graves was quick to chide FMCSA for not doing more to share this good news about trucking’s safety progress.

“These results deserve to be heralded as tremendous progress and very good news for American motorists, our industry and our industry’s regulators,” Graves said. “However, FMCSA has chosen not to highlight these important results. By not celebrating this success, the agency is doing itself a disservice. These results are as much an achievement for FMCSA as they are for the nation’s trucking industry. We are at a loss on why FMCSA chose not to communicate this final data indicating great safety progress.”

A spokesperson for the FMCSA said the agency published the information last year when it was first published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and that the only thing new in the report was the data about vehicle miles traveled... Continue reading...

Source: thetrucker.com/News/Stories/2011/11/16/Comprehensivetrucksafetydatashowstruckingassafeasever.aspx

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U.S. Delays Decision on Keystone Oil Pipeline

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by Transport Topics
Source: ttnews.com/articles/basetemplate.aspx?storyid=28069

The U.S. State Department said it has delayed its decision on the proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline and will examine alternate routes that would avoid environmentally sensistive areas in Nebraska, the Associated Press reported.

Calgary-based TransCanada seeks to build the 1,700-mile pipeline to connect oil sands in Canada to refineries on the Gulf Coast. The pipeline would run from Canada through Montana, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas.

President Obama said the pipeline could affect the environment and the health and safety of the American people, AP said.

“We should take the time to ensure that all questions are properly addressed and all the potential impacts are properly understood,” Obama said in a statement, AP reported.

Last month, an American Trucking Associations official told the State Department the pipeline would provide a stable and secure source of energy for the U.S. and its trucking industry and its construction should be approved.

Source: ttnews.com/articles/basetemplate.aspx?storyid=28069

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Highway Funding Bill Makes Significant Process

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by Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM)
Source: AEM.org/News/Newsroom/Releases/?R=847

The U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, led by senators Barbara Boxer and Jim Inhofe, took a significant step toward passing a bipartisan highway funding bill that will help manufacturers and farmers move their products to overseas markets and create thousands of American jobs.

Congress began consideration of the long overdue multi-year surface transportation reauthorization legislation known as Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century, or MAP 21, a two-year bill which seeks to prevent a decrease in federal funding for America’s transportation infrastructure needs.

At the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works hearing, Sen. Boxer specifically referenced the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) in her testimony, stating:

"To close, I want to read only one sentence from one letter, and this is from the Association of Equipment Manufacturers and this is what they write us: ‘We believe there is no single piece of legislation that this Congress can consider that could do more to quickly create jobs and generate economic activity.’ "

AEM President Dennis Slater stated, "Road and bridge deterioration is one of the greatest barriers to global competitiveness. U.S. manufacturers and farmers alike say deteriorating roads, bridges and highways cost them time and money transporting their products to ports for export to overseas markets. For example, the recently passed export agreements with Columbia, South Korea and Panama have the potential to create thousands of new jobs, but if farmers and manufacturers can’t transport products at a competitive rate, they lose."

Slater added, "Global competitiveness and productivity require modernizing and rebuilding America’s transportation system. Bipartisan support in Congress for the transportation reauthorization bill is vital to U.S. manufacturers and farmers."

View Sen. Boxer’s remarks at minute 28 here.

Source: AEM.org/News/Newsroom/Releases/?R=847