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first_imgUS Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) has formally informed US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials of his concerns about the size and scope of the new port of entry planned for Morses Line, Vermont. In a letter to CBP s acting commissioner, Leahy asked the agency to improve consultation with local landowners, to review the size and scope of the project, and to protect the historic resources near the border. The text of Leahy s letter, which was submitted during the official comment period on the proposed project, is below.Leahy also announced that an official from the Army Corps of Engineers, the federal agency handling portions of the planning process for CBP, will meet with the Rainvilles later this week to review the latest land acquisition and design plans. I understand the need to replace the Morses Line port of entry that is now more than 70 years old, said Leahy, a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, which approved funding for the project. However, any new facility needs to be right-sized for its purpose and location. I appreciate that after my inquiry the Army Corps will be meeting with the Rainville family later this week. I expect that they will be kept apprised of the planning, design, and construction process for the new port from now on.Information on the project can be found online at: http://www.northernbordernepa.com/(link is external). Public comments may be submitted on or before October 14 by mail or online at:Northern BorderP.O. Box 6760Chesterfield, MO [email protected](link sends e-mail)[The text of the letter Leahy has submitted during the project Comment Period is below or you can view a PDF of the letter online at http://leahy.senate.gov/DOX/093009MorsesLineLetter.pdf.](link is external)September 30, 2009Mr. Jayson P. AhernActing CommissionerU.S. Customs and Border Protection1300 Pennsylvania Avenue, NWWashington, DC 20229Dear Acting Commissioner Ahern:I write to comment on the Draft Environmental Assessment for the Proposed Modernization and Operation of the Morses Line Land Port of Entry in Franklin County, Vermont.I understand the need to replace this port of entry that now is more than 70 years old. However, any new facility needs to be right-sized for its purpose and location. After reviewing the draft document and having staff members visit the site, I do not believe that the size and scope of this proposal fits the operational conditions at Morses Line, where Customs and Border Protection (CBP) conducted just 16,140 inspections in 2007, and the port is staffed by only two officers from 8 a.m. to 12 a.m. daily.First, I am concerned about the lack of outreach by CBP and the Army Corps of Engineers to affected landowners and neighbors. I understand that prior to a recent inquiry by my office, CBP and the Army Corps had not contacted the adjacent landowners about the design and construction process since May, and that these landowners found out about the draft environmental assessment from an ad in a local newspaper. I appreciate that the Army Corps subsequently has set up a meeting with these landowners, and I ask and expect that they will be kept apprised of the planning, design, and construction process.Second, I am concerned about the large amount of land envisioned for the new port of entry. I do not believe that the federal government needs to purchase 10 acres of prime farmland for this port, as there are several steps that could be taken to reduce the footprint of the project, including moving the new port closer to the existing road, streamlining the roadway s circulation pattern, and reducing the number of parking spaces. In addition, I suggest that CBP allow the adjacent landowners to continue farming any unused land surrounding the security fence at the new port.Third, I am concerned about protecting the historic resources in the area around the Morses Line port of entry. While the draft document refers to a draft Memorandum of Agreement between CBP and the Vermont Division for Historic Preservation, I suggest that CBP make that document available to the public and expressly declare that all resources eligible or listed on the National Register of Historic Places will be preserved.Thank you in advance for your consideration of these comments. Please let me know if you have any additional questions.Sincerely,PATRICK LEAHYUnited States Senator Source: Leahy’s office. (WEDNESDAY, Sept. 30, 2009)last_img read more

first_imgUnder-fire Tim Sherwood plans to give Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy something to think about by ending the season with six successive wins. Press Association Louis van Gaal and Mauricio Pochettino are favourites to come in but the former midfielder was keen to avoid talking about his future before and after the 5-1 win at White Hart Lane, preferring instead to focus on ending the season with a bang. “This could have been a sticky game,” Sherwood told Spurs TV. “We saw this lot go up to Anfield and Liverpool were lucky to come away with three points. “We destroyed them tonight, really did move the ball around well and should have scored more goals. “It is unheard of really and hopefully we can do that in the next five games. We think we can win the next games so let’s see where it will take us.” Stoke are the only top-10 side Tottenham face in their final matches, with West Brom, Fulham, West Ham and Aston Villa their other opponents. Those fixtures would appear to make realistic a points haul that would heap pressure on Arsenal and Everton in the race for the final Champions League berth. The Gunners currently sit fourth with a five-point cushion over Spurs in sixth, although it is Everton that Sherwood believes are the front runners to end the season in the top four. “I don’t know [if we can sneak into fourth],” Sherwood said. “You know what, stop thinking about the top four, we’re just thinking about winning the next five games. The Spurs head coach has come under increasing scrutiny in recent weeks, with the situation appearing to reach a tipping point before Monday’s Barclays Premier League clash with Sunderland. The build-up was dominated by a report that claimed Sherwood’s tenure would end this summer, regardless of how results went between now and the end of the campaign. “Hopefully someone else slips up and they are going to have to do that because Everton have been magnificent, haven’t they? “The way they have built their club and team, they’ve gone about their business very, very quietly. “They acquired three loan signings and made themselves a title challenger, really, with the likes of Romelu Lukaku, Gareth Barry – probably two of the best players in the Premier League last season – and Gerard Deulofeu from Barcelona, who could be anything. “They went about their transfer business fantastically well and they’ve put themselves in a position. “I think Roberto Martinez has done a tremendous job so it is going to be difficult to catch them. I think they are going to be the lead runners on that.” While Tottenham are upwardly mobile again, the only direction Sunderland look to be heading is down as the season enters the home straight. Bottom of the table and seven points adrift of safety, the only glimmer of hope comes from the fact they have two games in hand on many of their relegation rivals. Sunderland boss Gus Poyet admits they will need a “miracle” to stave off relegation and rejected suggestions their cup exertions have seen them suffer in the league. “We are where we are because of the cup competitions, because if we had not been on that cup run, we would have been down already,” he said. “That cup run helped us in January, which was our best month. “That put us in a great situation to take advantage, but as soon as we lost that run, the team went backwards dramatically – backwards in decision making and basic things. “One of the first things I was told when I came to England was, ‘Follow the runners – stop the cross’. How many times did we stop the cross today? What kind of effort did we put in to do that?” last_img read more