National POW/MIA Recognition Day with Helicopter flyover at the Pentagon

A flyover of Army UH-60 helicopters followed by a diamond of combat jets from the Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps concludes the annual Pentagon observance of National POW/MIA Recognition Day, Sept. 19, 2008. U.S. Rep. Ike Skelton of Missouri, the event’s keynote speaker, flanked Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon England, right, and Marine Corps Gen. James Cartwright, left, stand in the reviewing area. (Photo credit: DoD)

About mid-morning yesterday (September 16), my phone, Twitter, Facebook, and email started going off with reports of military helicopters hovering over and around Alexandria, Virginia on the banks of the Potomac.

Turns out, after many phone calls, it was a flyover of Army UH-60 helicopters followed by a diamond of combat jets from the Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps part of the conclusion of the annual Pentagon observance of National POW/MIA Recognition Day which was held yesterday, September 16, 2016.

Port City Brewing

 Study Shows Virginia Beer Distributors Fuel Nearly 3,900 Direct Jobs

Building upon this economic development news from Alexandria, Virginia yesterday, as Americans prepare to celebrate Labor Day, the National Beer Wholesalers Association (NBWA) and Virginia’s independent beer distributors are recognizing beer distribution industry employees whose work positively impacts the national and state economies.

“From truck drivers to graphic artists and sales representatives, America’s beer distribution employees work day in and day out to make this the best beer market in the world,” said NBWA President and CEO Craig Purser.

According to the economic impact report America’s Beer Distributors: Fueling Jobs, Generating Economic Growth & Delivering Value to Local Communities, more than 3,000 beer distribution facilities directly employ 135,000 men and women in communities across the country.

The report, produced by Dr. Bill Latham and Dr. Ken Lewis of the Center for Applied Business & Economic Research at the University of Delaware, provides a comprehensive look at beer distribution companies’ total impact on national and state economies. In addition to the impact of distributor operations, the report accounts for resources contributed by beer distributors in supporting community events and local economic development, contributing to charitable causes and promoting responsible alcohol use.


Animal Welfare League Offering Reward for Information about Neglected Dog

This is an update to this post. On Sunday, August 14, 2016, the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria (AWLA) was contacted by a couple who had discovered a dog abandoned in a crate under a bush on Patrick Street in Old Town Alexandria. The crate was extremely dirty, containing feces and urine. The dog, a black and brown male Yorkshire terrier mix wearing a purple collar with no tags or microchip, was transported to VCA Alexandria Animal Hospital for emergency care. An examination of the non-responsive animal revealed a dog, coat matted with filth, suffering from dehydration and labored breathing–a possible case of severe heatstroke. Despite expert veterinary treatment, the dog could not be revived . AWLA has requested a necropsy to confirm the cause of death.

The Animal Welfare League of Alexandria is asking the public for any information about the identity of this dog and is now offering a $2500 reward (up from $1,000) for any facts that lead to the successful conviction and prosecution of the person(s) responsible.

Anyone who would like to contribute to the AWLA End Animal Abuse & Neglect Fund candonate online or by mail to AWLA/EAAN Fund, 4101 Eisenhower Ave., Alexandria, VA 22304.

This fund is used to provide rewards in criminal investigations of animal abuse and neglect and to provide veterinary care for animals rescued from these situations. It is important to emphasize that in situations of extreme heat, animals should not be left unattended or without access to water. The AWLA asks that rather than allowing an animal to suffer in the city of Alexandria, it be brought to the shelter for assistance.

For more information, please contact Chief Brian Rees of Animal Services at 703-746-5582.

World Wide Web

On this day in history: New users accessed the World Wide Web

The day is known as ‘Internaut Day’.

Internauts everywhere today are celebrating the technology that brings us all together! On August 23, 1991 – 25 years ago today – the public gained access for the first time to the World Wide Web, designed and deployed by computer scientist Tim Berners-Lee at CERN in Switzerland.

It gave rise to the internet as we know and use it today.

The internet was first connected in 1969 and the very first web page, which can be found online at its original URL, went live on August 6, 1991 and was only available to users at CERN.

On August 23, 1991, new users outside of CERN were invited to join the web, marking its official anniversary, or ‘Internaut Day’.

We thank Sir Tim Berners-Lee and other internet pioneers for making the world more open and connected.


Students’ ideas to improve waste management became award-winning inventions at the sixth annual FIRST® LEGO® League Global Innovation Award Contest presented by XPRIZE® on Weds., June 22, 2016 in Washington, DC. Team “The Incredibots” of Gahanna, Ohio, won first prize for “The Styro-Filter” – a device converts Styrofoam waste into activated carbon that can be used to purify water. The patent-pending Styro-Filter has potential to reduce the nearly two billion pounds of non-recyclable Styrofoam thrown away each year in the United States. FIRST LEGO League teams from 21 countries submitted their inventions for consideration. (Photo: Business Wire)

FIRST® Recognizes Students for Innovation in Waste Management in
Sixth Annual FIRST®LEGO® League Global Innovation Award Contest Presented by XPRIZE

Ohio Team Takes Top Prize for Styrofoam Waste Converter

Students’ creative ideas to improve waste management became award-winning inventions at the sixth annual FIRST® LEGO® League Global Innovation Award presented by XPRIZE® ceremony, held this week at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) in Alexandria, Virginia. Dean Kamen, inventor and founder of FIRST® , honored 20 FIRST® LEGO® League teams for their innovative solutions during the ceremony which included parents, students, Coaches, patent experts, Sponsors, and waste management experts. FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) is a not-for-profit organization that inspires young people’s participation and interest in science and technology.

FIRST LEGO League teams from 21 countries across the globe submitted their inventions for the FIRST LEGO League Global Innovation Awardpresented by XPRIZE, the global leader in designing and implementing innovative competition models to help solve some of the world’s grandest challenges. A panel of expert judges reviewed the submissions and then selected a winning team and two runner-up teams after meeting with teams over the course of the two day event. The winning team received a cash award of $20,000 and the two runner-up teams each received $5,000.


U.S. Senator Mark Warner & Tim Kaine
Virginia & Maryland Senators Urge Senate Majority Leader to allow Confirmation Vote on OPM Director

Today the U.S. Senators from Virginia and Maryland, together representing more than 630,000 current and retired federal workers, called on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to allow a confirmation vote on the President’s nominee to head the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), Acting Director Beth F. Cobert. In a letter to Leader McConnell, Sens. Mark R. Warner (D-VA), Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Tim Kaine (D-VA) wrote that Cobert’s nomination is necessary in order to create “stable leadership” at the agency tasked with managing personnel issues for the federal government.

Cobert has served as OPM’s Acting Director since July 10, 2015 and was nominated by President Obama on November 10, 2015 to the Senate to be Director of OPM. Cobert’s nomination was unanimously approved by the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee on February 10, 2016 with the support of the Chairman and Ranking Member.

“Yet, in the ensuing 17 weeks, the Senate has failed to move the nomination forward,” the Senators wrote, “Despite bipartisan support and appreciation for her qualifications among Republicans and Democrats in both chambers of Congress.”

This week marks the one-year anniversary of one of the worst cyberattacks ever committed against the U.S. government, during which hackers breached OPM’s databases and stole the personal information and Social Security numbers of more than 20 million people. In the wake of that attack, OPM has been faced with the critical mission of improving cybersecurity, while also working to confront longstanding challenges to its core functions, such as delays in processing both retirement applications and background check investigations.

“Given the scope and magnitude of these challenges, it is unfortunate that one member of the Senate has continued to hold Ms. Cobert’s nomination for ideological reasons completely unrelated to her qualifications and performance,” the Senators told Leader McConnell. “While we understand our colleague has concerns relating to OPM rulemaking that occurred well prior to Ms. Cobert’s tenure at OPM, we continue to urge him to elevate those concerns in a productive and appropriate manner rather than hamstringing the agency at a moment when strong leadership is sorely needed.”

According to press reports, one Republican Senator has placed a “hold” on the nomination, which is an informal, nonbinding parliamentary procedure with the goal of preventing the nomination from coming to the Senate floor.

Noted Sens. Warner, Mikulski, Cardin and Kaine, “The sooner the Senate is able to provide its advice and consent in confirming Ms. Cobert’s nomination, the sooner we can put this gamesmanship behind us and focus on the important work that OPM must undertake to implement critical cybersecurity and personnel reforms.”

The full text of the letter appears below. A PDF of the signed letter is available here.



Fort Ward Park in Alexandria, Virginia

Learn about Civil War soldier and civilian life when Fort Ward Museum & Historic Site presents Civil War Camp Day on Saturday, June 4. The event is from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. Suggested donation is $2 per person or $5 per family. The program is weather dependent.

This annual living history event features Union and Confederate military and civilian reenactors in camp settings. The program includes infantry and artillery drills and firing demonstrations, equipment displays, and civilian impressions. Among the living history units participating are the 28th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, Co. B, the 3rd U.S. Regular Infantry, Co. K, the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, and Thompson’s Independent Battery C of the Pennsylvania Light Artillery. Special interpretations include a Quartermaster Tent, a medical surgeon with a field hospital display, and a soldier in the reconstructed Officers’ Hut who will describe the daily routine and living quarters of a Union officer in the Defenses of Washington.

Fort Ward is the best preserved of the Union forts that comprised the Civil War Defenses of Washington. The historic fort features the fully restored Northwest bastion. The Museum offers exhibits, programs and special events throughout the year. Fort Ward is located at 4301 West Braddock Road in the west end of the City of Alexandria.

For more information, please call 703-746-4848, or visit this link.

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