Monday, November 30, 2009

ListServ for Washington Flag Displays

Do you wish to be notified for alerts for commemorative displays of the flag in Washington State?

If so, SUBSCRIBE FLAGALERT requires registration. To register the execution of your command, simply point your browser to the URL.

This procedure will work with any mail program that fully conforms to the Internet standards for electronic mail.

You will receive a confirmation email that must be replied to for verification. Finally, your command will be cancelled automatically if LISTSERV does not receive your confirmation within 48 hours. After that time, you must start over and resend the command to get a new confirmation code.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Noteworthies With a Local Link

On Nov. 20, Gen. Raymond Johns replaced Gen. Arthur Lichte as the commander of Air Mobility Command. The White House nominated Johns, a 1977 Air Force Academy graduate, on July 8 and the Senate confirmed him for four stars and his new position on July 31. He previously served as deputy chief of staff for strategic plans and programs on the Air Staff and as 62nd AW Commander at McChord AFB.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

How to Build a Cross-Base Highway

Pierce County's long awaited and continually delayed Cross-Base Highway keeps looking for a solution to a need long overdue. For a project that started with a donation of right-of-way worth millions of dollars by Ft. Lewis, that head start in funding hasn't made much progress against other state-wide projects that keep bumping the Cross-Base Highway.

As Fort Lewis is a work site that has gained 13,000 workers in the last demi-decade and seen a daily increase in thousands of vehicle trips, soldiers taking housing outside the post are continuing to seek housing in Thurston County as closer Pierce County housing is inaccessible via the congestion along the Pacific Ave.-SR 512-I-5 route, located in Parkland-Spanaway. Who hasn't noticed the increase in congestion on I-5 south of the post as soldiers commute back and forth to Thurston County?

But is our challenge so unique that we must create a solution, or is experience available elsewhere. Of course! We are not unique! Others have solved this problem!

Mayor John Cook, City of El Paso, TX and Charles H. "Chuck" Berry, El Paso District Engineer, Texas Department of Transportation, recently shared with nation-wide delegates at the Office of Economic Adjustment (OEA), Department of Defense, how El Paso responded to the transportation demands of military (job) growth.

El Paso and Texas built a 7.5 miles freeway across Fort Bliss and an airport. This was a $200 million construction project accomplished by a public-private partnership. El Paso and Texas cooperated with the private sector to build and finance this highway (pictured above). Using what they called "pass through tolls," the State of Texas pays to the private sector vendor a toll based on the number of cars that use the highway. For mutual protection, payments will not fall below $10 million nor rise above $12 million.

Today's state (and local) budget climate gives all parties an instant excuse for not spending $10 million in capital expenses each year. But alternatives do exist. For one example the Stimulus Bill, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, contains the Build America Bonds, which provides a federal subsidy to state and local bonds.

Others have taken notice. Mayor Efrain Valdez, Del Rio, TX, rose from the conference floor to endorse the Texas public-private partnership in road building and announce his city is doing the same thing.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Military Citizen of 2009 Announced

Honored today as the John Anderson Military Citizen of the Year is Master Sergeant Tabatha A. Bennett. MSgt. Bennett is currently the full-time office supervisor for the Washington Air National Guard West Recruiting Office.

MSgt. Tabatha Bennett and George Cargill, TriWest Healthcare Alliance.

MSgt. Bennett volunteers as assistant coach to the Rogers High School Girls Junior Varsity Soccer Team in Puyallup, assisting with the team’s physical fitness program and helping to secure funding for future school sports programs. She also volunteers at Rogers High School with classroom support and at Kalles Junior High School providing administrative support in the front office.

MSgt. Bennett is actively involved with the Washington National Guard’s Youth Program, designed for children ages 11-19, promoting high quality youth programs in conjunction with community partnerships. The program provides a better understanding of being a military child, especially during times of military deployment.

MSgt. Bennett volunteers most Friday nights with the Tacoma Rescue Mission serving as a cooking and service specialists, in addition to organizing their food bank and other services.

As an owner of a computer graphics, design and website business, each year she provide a free website and support to a non-profit that can’t afford design fees.

There is no question that MSgt. Bennett devotes countless hours and boundless energy to improving our community, said George Cargill, award sponsor representative and Vice-Chair of the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber, in making the award presentation.

About John H. Anderson
John H. Anderson served as Tacoma’s mayor in the early to mid 1950s. He is also a past Chair of the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber Board of Directors, as well as a successful local businessman.

About Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber
Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber was founded in 1883. Its mission is to promote a strong business climate fostering economic opportunity and a more livable community through advocacy, networking, resources and services for business development.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Noteworthies With a Local Link

Today, the chief of staff, Army announced the following assignments.

Maj. Gen. Patricia D. Horoho, commanding general, Western Regional Medical Command and Madigan Army Medical Center/Chief, Army Nurse Corps, Tacoma, Wash., to deputy surgeon general, U.S. Army/chief, Army Nurse Corps, Falls Church, Va.

Maj. Gen. Philip Volpe, deputy commander, Joint Task Force - National Capital Region Medical, Bethesda, Md., to commanding general, Western Regional Medical Command and Madigan Army Medical Center, Tacoma, Wash.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Part II: To Be Counted

You may remember our earlier blog: To Be Counted or Not, where we discussed efforts in Congress to insure deployed military votes are counted and looked at Washington State's current program.

The AUSA Legislative Newsletter reports that new rules that will make it easier for deployed servicemembers to cast ballots was folded into the fiscal 2010 National Defense Authorization Act that was signed into law by President Obama last week.

The Military and Overseas Voters Empowerment Act (MOVE Act) introduced after a Senate Rules Committee survey showed that as many as one in four ballots cast by military and overseas voters went uncounted in last year’s presidential election easily passed the Senate last week.

The bill would fix several of the flaws responsible for such widespread disenfranchisement. It requires that all states provide military voters with ballots no later than 45 days prior to the election so that they have adequate time to complete and return them. It would also require states to provide ballots electronically and expands the Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP) at the Department of Defense, which is the main source of election-related information and assistance for many members of the military. The legislation would also bar states from rejecting military ballots for lack of a “Notary” signature—a feat difficult to achieve in the bases of Iraq and Afghanistan.

59 Senators co-sponsored the bill. The MOVE Act represents the most sweeping reform of military and overseas voting law in a long time, and its significance cannot be overstated. I'm proud to have worked with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to enact these common-sense reforms, which come just in time to help our troops and their family members participate in the November 2010 elections, said Sen. John Cornyn, TX.

TAP Gallery Features Veteran's Art

TAP Gallery Features the Art of Veteran Charles Minton.

November 1st – November 30th

Minton's large and intricate bronze/copper works are all initially designed by him and hand drawn on transfer paper. He then hammers and crafts every detail of the design and frame.
Several of his bronze and copper pieces showcase local landmarks such as Seattle's Space Needle and Tacoma's Union Station.

Minton also creates individualized pieces for veterans killed in action and provides them to Fort Lewis Army Base. Come see the work of this talented metal artist during Tacoma's Art at Work Month.

Artist Reception: Veteran’s Day
Wednesday, November 11th, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
(please note they are closed until 5:30 p.m. for annual observance of Veterans Day but will be open for this special evening reception)

Join TAP as it honors all veterans and especially veterans who are artists at their November reception. Also on view a sneak preview of December artist - veteran Mark Lubich.

TAP Gallery
1116 11th St
TAP hours:
Wednesday, Thursday & Friday: 1:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Saturday: 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Sunday: noon to 5:00 p.m.

Service members & veterans bring this blog to TAP for a free one-month trial membership.