Governor Sununu Brings New Local Aid to Seabrook

Governor Chris Sununu visited Seabrook last week to deliver additional local aid to the Town, bringing unrestricted local aid as well as additional school aid in the amount of $643,139. A big thank you to the Governor and the Legislature for all of their hard work on the state budget that brought the additional aid to Seabrook.

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A Look at “1941: The Year Germany Lost the War” by Andrew Nagorski

1941: The Year Germany Lost the War1941: The Year Germany Lost the War by Andrew Nagorski
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A nice look at what author Andrew Nagorski considers to be the pivotal year of World War II, 1941, where the tide of war turned against the German war machine. Hard to argue that 1941 saw the events and decisions made on all sides that led to the eventual defeat of Germany and the destruction of Hitlerism.

For those that have studied the war there is not much new here, but despite that the book is a good read that brings some excellent perspective to the war. That perspective does include the difficulties faced by Churchill, as well as by FDR, in trying to keep the British afloat as they battled alone against Nazi Germany. We get the flavor of the political difficulties faced by FDR in trying to help the British without formally entering the war, with a good look at some of the diplomacy involved, including the very interesting interactions between British, American, and Soviet diplomats before the German invasion of the U.S.S.R.

Despite the broad look at the U.S. and British the main focus, as it should be, is on the decision by Hitler to invade the Soviet Union in 1941. It was arguably the worst decision of the war by Hitler, but it was most certainly not the only strategically flawed decision he made. The book looks at the run-up to that decision, including the German-Soviet treaty that allowed the invasion of Poland to proceed by both Hitler and Stalin. Hitler’s move was tactically and strategically brilliant, allowing him to concentrate his military power to the west to face the French and British threat without having to worry about the Soviets. The book gives us a look at the mindset of Stalin in this period. Stalin essentially waived off the crescendo of warnings on the true intentions of Hitler, even shipping supplies called for under the treaty right up to the point of the German invasion. This is the true crux of the book and it offers a great overview of the central players in that tragedy.

Most everybody agrees that Hitler’s decision to invade the Soviet Union was a strategic blunder, but we also get a look at the tactical errors that sealed the Germans fate. Hitler delayed the invasion to deal with a government coup in Yugoslavia that enraged him, and while some have downplayed the military significance of that delay I am not in that group. It was a major error. The initial vast military success of the German invasion brought to Hitler some tactical choices about the deployment of forces that he handled poorly, breaking off the drive to Moscow to lend support to military efforts to capture economically important areas to the South. Hitler’s indecision on goals, and his overriding of his generals strong objections to delaying the drive to Moscow while he had the strategic initiative doomed the Germans to ultimate defeat. I believe the author did a very good job of covering this critical period, with a strong overview of the decisions that ultimately determined the course of the war.

Hitler, in addition to the ample errors of 1941, simply ignored the pre-war warnings of German economists, who informed him that a long war would simply not be sustainable for Germany. Hitler ignored those warnings, and in fact the author shows us that Hitler turned those arguments on their head, arguing that fast and decisive action was needed to avoid economic calamity for Germany. He was wrong on that score right from the start. From the book:

“In Mein Kampf, Hitler unwittingly identified another one of his failings that manifested itself in his preparations for war: his disregard for the economic underpinnings needed for a successful military strategy. “Economics is only of second- or third-rate importance, and the primary role falls to factors of politics, ethics, morality, and blood,” he wrote. Hermann Göring, the head of the Luftwaffe, who was already considered the second most powerful man in the country, echoed those sentiments in a meeting with army officers in the summer of 1938. “The armed forces should not concern themselves with the fate of the economy,” he told them, since he had “sole responsibility” for such matters. “The collapse of parts of the economy was irrelevant. Ways will be found.” Both before the outbreak of the war and in its early days, other members of Hitler’s entourage, including within the military, attempted to warn the German leader that he was charting a dangerous course. They feared that his dismissing economic considerations, along with underestimating the strength and political will of Germany’s likely opponents, could prove to be a fatal combination. Even Göring expressed similar concerns on occasion. But all of them would be overruled again and again.”

Nagorski, Andrew. 1941: The Year Germany Lost the War (p. 21). Simon & Schuster. Kindle Edition.

Hitler’s disregard of economics was not consistent, but when he did show concern it was on a tactical level, with not nearly enough concern or understanding of the strategic disaster awaiting Germany from a long war. This refusal to consider economics or figures not to his liking was shown when Hitler was faced with numbers indicating a very large Soviet military production capacity. He simply refused to accept numbers on Soviet tank and airplane capacity that cut against his own thoughts on the matter. His own thoughts were badly misinformed.

Nagorski has produced a very interesting book, especially for those who are approaching the subject for the first time. The war, and Hitlerism, have begun to fade in our collective memory. I hope that never happens, as the lessons learned and the human disaster that unfolded from the Nazi drive for world domination should never be forgotten. I have begun to re-read, after many years, the William Shirer epic, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich.

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Seabrook Harbor Dredging Project to Begin

We have received an update on the Seabrook/Hampton Harbor Dredge project calendar. Naturally the schedule is subject to weather, but the Army Corps and the contractor are in place, with work scheduled to begin this week. This $4.6 million dollar federal project has been a major priority for our entire region, as harbor shoaling has made safe boating passage very difficult. Thanks to Senator Jeanne Shaheen, Senator Maggie Hassan, and Congressman Chris Pappas for all of their work in securing the federal money necessary for the Army Corps to proceed. The Seabrook Board of Selectmen have been actively involved in the planning for this project, offering strong and vocal support for the fishing and tourism industries that rely so heavily on the ability to navigate the Harbor. Thanks to Coral Siligato and the Army Corps, and the New Hampshire DES, who have worked so hard to make this project a reality. The below is from the Army Corps.

Dredging will begin in the Inner Harbor on the Seabrook side starting as soon as tomorrow 10/17/2019. Dredging of the Cross Channel, Seabrook Channel and Seabrook Anchorage will occur between 10/17/2019 likely through the end of December. Placement of the dredge material will be occurring first at the locations under the Route 1A Southern Bridge Abutment and then along Seabrook Beach and will continue through December. Placement at the Middle Ground Sand Flat (behind and within the existing composite sheet pile wall built in 2005), will occur approximately in the middle of November. Dredging of the Hampton Channel, Hampton Anchorage, and the State Anchorage is anticipated to occur between December through February 1, 2020 with placement at Hampton State Beach Park.

General Plan

Edit on October 23, 2019

It was great to have Senator Jeanne Shaheen in to look at the project as it has gotten started. Senator Shaheen and the entire legislative delegation worked very hard to deliver the resources necessary for the U.S. Army Corps to do this project.

Media coverage of the Dredge project.

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Seabrook Receives Federal EDA Grant for Pier Repair

Seabrook has received word that we will receive a federal Economic Development Administration (EDA) grant of $695,965 for the repair of the Town Pier. This grant is vital to the regional economy, as the failure of the sheet pilings supporting the pier would have a devastating impact on the Yankee Fishing Cooperative and the regional fishing industry as well as on the ability of the Seabrook Station to use the harbor for the delivery of vital equipment. From the Press Release from the United States Department of Commerce:

WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $695,965 grant to the Town of Seabrook, New Hampshire, to make critical infrastructure improvements needed to support the local fishing fleet and the NextEra nuclear power station. The grant, to be located near a Tax Cuts and Jobs Act designated Opportunity Zone, will be matched with $695,966 in local funds and is expected to help retain 200 jobs.

The project will help to repair the Seabrook Seawall to ensure the continued use of the wharf and adjacent channel. The work will include the replacement of the existing bulkhead and the re-grading and paving of land behind the seawall.

The Town of Seabrook has derived the matching funds from a taxpayer authorized bond, (2017 Warrant Article 6) allowing this project to move forward. My thanks to Senator Jeanne Shaheen, Senator Maggie Hassan, Congressman Chris Pappas, and Governor Sununu and the State of New Hampshire Economic Development team, who all worked to support this application. Our thanks to the Regional Economic Development Corporation President Laurel Adams as well as Jennifer Kimball, whose work and expertise were essential to having a successful application. My thanks to NextEra for all of their support and assistance.

The Seabrook Board of Selectmen have made this project a top priority, and it was the Board that placed the bond article in 2017, going to the public with strong advocacy for both the financing, and the project itself. Without the support and advocacy of the Board this project would not have reached this point.

Finally a big thank you to the U.S. Commerce Department and the E.D.A. They have been outstanding partners, responsive and helpful throughout.

We will announce next steps very shortly.

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The 2020 Budget Committee Budget Message

I have submitted, with the start of the FY 2020 Budget season, the below Budget message to the Budget Committee. The Budget delivers the same high level of service while attempting to deal with critical personnel shortages in DPW and Police. Despite that the budgetary increases, on the Town side, would be under 1%. The Budget Committee meetings have begun, and I look forward to those discussions.

Budget Message FY 2020 Budget Committee

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RSCS Opens in Seabrook

The Board of Selectmen were on hand for the ribbon cutting of the beautiful building housing Radiation Safety & Control Services, Inc. (RSCS) a new business that has located in Seabrook. We very much appreciate the investment in Seabrook, and wish them much success.

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Seabrook Financial Report for FY 2018

Each year I produce a financial report which is a tool for Seabrook policy makers as they make budgetary decisions. This book looks at some of the multi-year financial data for the Town, compiled from multiple sources. Numbers include total dollars raised (tax levy) as well as the sources of that revenue, the impacts of the tax payments (and structure of those payments) made by NextEra, the breakdown of where those dollars go, as well as tax rate information over the past five years. This report has been provided to the Board of Selectme and the Budget Committee in advance of the deliberation on the FY 2020 Budget.

Financial Report 2018 Fund Balance Amendment

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