Army Leaders Highlight Readiness Shortfall Need for BRAC Round

first_img Dan Cohen AUTHOR Fiscal constraints have forced the Army to focus on near-term readiness, putting its future capability at great risk, the service’s top civilian and military officials told lawmakers Wednesday.“We’re mortgaging our future readiness because we have to ensure success in today’s battles,” said acting Army Secretary Patrick Murphy.Murphy and Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley told the Senate Defense Appropriations Subcommittee that readiness is their top priority as the Army shrinks its active-duty end-strength from 490,000 to 450,000 while fulfilling the requirements of combatant commanders around the globe, reported Army Times.The Army entered 2016 with 482,264 soldiers on active duty, leaving the force about 7,000 soldiers from reaching its goal of 475,000 troops by this coming October. The newly released FY 2017 budget calls for the service’s end strength to drop to 460,000 by Oct. 1, 2017.To free up more resources for training, the witnesses urged Congress to authorize a new round of base closures.“Let us manage your investments,” Murphy said. The service spends at least $500 million annually on excess or underutilized facilities, according to the written testimony Murphy and Milley submitted.“In short, smaller investments in Army installations without the ability to reduce excess infrastructure jeopardizes our ability to ensure long-term readiness. To continue the efficient use of resources, the Army requests congressional authority to consolidate or close excess infrastructure,” the testimony stated.Milley told one committee member that retaining 480,000 soldiers in the active force, 350,000 in the Guard and 205,000 in the Reserve would help the Army better meet its readiness goals, but he emphasized the importance of providing the necessary funding to maintain the extra troops’ proficiency in combat operations.“The short answer would be sure, I think that having increased numbers would help out with readiness, but if, and only if, we had the money to support that,” Milley said.last_img read more

GameStop To Hold Fundraising Campaign For Autism Speaks This May Increase Employment

first_img(NOTE: GameStop is located at 246 Main Street in Wilmington.)GRAPEVINE, TX — GameStop is once again partnering with Autism Speaks to help increase awareness, understanding and acceptance of people with autism spectrum disorder. Throughout May, the video game retailer is focusing its annual in-store autism awareness campaign on raising funds for the newly launched NXT Gen Coders Program powered by GameStop and administered by Autism Speaks, aimed at increasing coding and programming skills for people with autism.From May 1 through May 31, GameStop will host its third annual in-store autism awareness campaign with 100 percent of donations going to Autism Speaks and helping fund the NXT Gen Coders Program. This program, powered by GameStop and administered by Autism Speaks, will focus on opportunities for coding and programing skill development for people with autism, so that they may be better equipped to take advantage of the one million jobs that the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates will be open in the coding industry by 2020.With the vast majority of adults with autism unemployed or underemployed, GameStop and Autism Speaks are collaborating on the NXT Gen Coders Program to give talented young men and women a path to careers that match their training, abilities and interests.“We are proud to continue our commitment to raising awareness and providing support to the individuals and families impacted by autism,” says Jason Cochran, senior vice president of Store Operations for GameStop. “Through our ongoing partnership with Autism Speaks and the newly launched NXT Gen Coders Program, we are taking extra steps to provide individuals with autism the job and life skills they need to help them enjoy a more fulfilling life.”During this year’s campaign, GameStop is offering three ways guests can contribute to support people with autism:For the first-time, guests will have the option to donate up to 100 percent of their trade-in value to charity when they bring to GameStop their unused video game hardware, software, accessories, or consumer electronics.Donate $1 or more in-store or on GameStop.com and GameStop will provide triple PowerUp Rewards points on the donation amount.Donate PowerUp Rewards points to Autism Speaks in the PowerUp Rewards Center.GameStop’s continued support of Autism Speaks follows several successful campaigns since the partnership began in 2016, with more than $2.4 million in donations raised to enhance the quality of life for children, adults and families impacted by autism.“We appreciate GameStop’s generosity and commitment to the autism community,” said Autism Speaks President and CEO Angela Geiger. “Each year, 50,000 young people with autism enter adulthood, expanding a talent pool that is largely untapped. Creating employment opportunities requires innovative solutions, which is why we’re excited about the NXT Gen Coders Program.”(NOTE: The above press release is from GameStop.)Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email wilmingtonapple@gmail.com.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedBUSINESS BRIEF: GameStop Awards $250,000 In Grants To Increase Employment Readiness For People With AutismIn “Business”GameStop Partners With Autism Speaks for Autism Awareness MonthIn “Business”GameStop Collects $1.2 Million in Donations During Autism Awareness MonthIn “Business”,Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email wilmingtonapple@gmail.com.last_img read more

STATE REP RACE QA Erika Johnson Discusses Education Issues Negative Campaigning

first_imgWILMINGTON, MA — Wilmington Apple is asking weekly questions to the seven candidates running in contested primaries for the Wilmington/Tewksbury State Representative seat (19th Middlesex).Below, in her own words, are the responses to this week’s questions from candidate Erika Johnson (D-Wilmington).#13) The Massachusetts education funding formula hasn’t been updated in 25 years. This Chapter 70 formula fails to provide the funding needed for school districts to fund core expenses. The Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center published a report last week (“Building An Education System That Works For Everyone: Funding Reforms To Help All Our Children Thrive“) detailing the problem. The Wilmington & Tewksbury School Committees have long advocated for the State House to update the Chapter 70 formula. Do you commit to fighting for an updated formula? What else will you do as State Representative to help our public schools?Education is the key to the future, therefore, our public schools deserve to be well-funded if not, fully funded. The current formula, Chapter 70 is outdated and absolutely needs to be updated. The formula, as it stands, is stacked against students in low-income communities.I have heard from several teachers along the campaign trail who tell stories of how much they’ve spent out of pocket to be able to provide their students the best education possible, it’s eye-opening. Our teachers need better support and the resources needed to provide a world-class education for all students.I was a strong proponent of the Millionaires tax, a ballot initiative that was recently struck down by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court on a legal technicality (not the substance of the bill). This tax would have increased taxes for those receiving an annual income of over $1 million and all revenue would fund public education and public transportation. Over the weekend, I had the opportunity to hear Democratic Gubernatorial candidate, Jay Gonzalez speak at an event hosted by the Burlington Democratic Town Committee at which Gonzalez expressed that he would support a bill along the lines of the Millionaires tax that taxed the richest in Massachusetts to fully fund our public schools and public transportation, a measure I would be happy to champion if elected.There is currently a bill “S. 308: An Act Strengthening and Investing in our Educators, Students and Communities” that would update the Chapter 70 funding formula, mandates a moratorium on and replacement of the state’s high-stakes testing regime, promotes community collaboration in improving schools, and provides services critical to student academic and social-emotional development, such as recess for grade-schoolers and appropriate bilingual education services for non-native speakers (Summary provided by the Massachusetts Teachers Association). I fully support this bill as I believe it will vastly improve our public education system in Massachusetts for all students and urge our Legislature to act on this bill.I am also supportive of keeping the cap on charter schools, as I proudly voted “No” on Question 2, one of the ballot initiatives in 2016. Charter schools take taxpayer dollars yet are run by nonprofit or for-profit organizations and are exempt from regulations put forth by state and local boards of education in curriculum and hiring practices. Raising the cap or funding for charter schools takes away money and resources for our public school children with no accountability.Every child living in Massachusetts has the right to a quality public education that prepares them for current and future job markets. With that said, we must be sure that with any update to education funding, we are advocating for every child – regardless of their zip code, household income, if they are English Language Learners (ELL), if they require special education or Individualized Education Program (IEP), etc.#14) Define “negative campaigning.” Do you pledge not to engage in any negative campaigning during this election? Why or why not? When responding to an attack, will you follow the “when they go low, we go high” Michelle Obama mantra or the “when someone attacks me, I always attack back… except 100x more” Donald Trump mantra?I do not plan to engage in negative campaigning during this election. With so much on the line for our district, it is important to stay focused on the issues not personal attacks.I will be taking Michelle Obama’s approach, “When they go low, we go high”.(NOTE: Do you have a question for the candidates? Email wilmingtonapple@gmail.com and it may be asked in a future Q&A or in a debate.)Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email wilmingtonapple@gmail.com.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedSTATE REP RACE Q&A: Pina Prinzivalli Discusses Education Issues, Negative CampaigningIn “Government”STATE REP RACE Q&A: Mark Kratman Discusses Education Issues, Negative CampaigningIn “Government”STATE REP RACE Q&A: Judy O’Connell Discusses Education Issues, Negative CampaigningIn “Government”last_img read more

Construction Begins On Texas Largest Solar Farm

first_img Share Listen 174 Power Global CorporationAn artist’s rendering of the Midway Solar farm in Pecos County, TX Construction has started on what will be the largest solar farm in Texas, the latest sign of renewable energy’s continued growth in what has traditionally been oil and gas country.South of Midland in Pecos County, the Midway Solar farm will make enough electricity from the sun to power about 50,000 homes annually. Austin Energy is buying the power.Pecos County Judge Joe Shuster said the new farm will add to about eight solar farms that have been built there.“We opened our doors up roughly six to eight years ago for the first one to come in, and once the first one came in, the others started to follow,” he said, adding that the companies keep knocking.“We’ve got one right now that’s talking to us that’s going to be somewhere around 500 megawatts just in one farm alone,” he said.So could anything slow down this boom?Federal tax credits are set to wind down in the coming years. After 2021, commercial builders will only get a 10 percent credit, down from the current 30 percent.And then there is the constant balancing act of building out enough electric lines to handle the influx of new wind and solar.The shortage has gotten a lot worse in the Panhandle just in the past year as new renewable projects come online, though some infrastructure upgrades happening this year should help ease the problem there.The Midway solar farm is expected to be finished by the end of this year. Xcenter_img To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: 00:00 /01:06last_img read more

Step into the Churchill

first_imgThe Churchill, Jaypee Greens Golf & Spa Resort’s Cigar lounge, was named hence as a tribute to the most popular connoisseur of cigars in history, Winston Churchill. True to its name, the lounge serves its guests a select range of the finest quality of Cuban cigars. These handpicked cigars when combined with our assorted selection of fine liquor exude understated power and unassuming elegance. The menu staples range between the high-end Cubans including Montecristo Grand Edmundo, Hoyo De Monterrey Epicure No. 2, Parthagas Serie D No. 4 and the quintessential Romeo Y Julieta Short Churchill, also the more modest Cubans on the lines of Fonseca KDT Cadettes and Jose L Piedra Nacionales are included. The menu will undergo some interesting changes in October apart from some new additions Cubans will be paired with classic drinks.last_img read more

Soon the Floor in Your House Could Be Your Next Energy Source

first_img This hands-on workshop will give you the tools to authentically connect with an increasingly skeptical online audience. October 25, 2016 2 min read Free Workshop | August 28: Get Better Engagement and Build Trust With Customers Nowcenter_img Enroll Now for Free You know how dragging your feet around on carpeting can create finger-zapping static electricity? Well, thanks to the findings of university researchers, walking around your floor might someday create electricity and help power your house.A team at the University of Wisconsin-Madison says it has developed a technique using wood pulp and chemically treated cellulose nanofibers. Apparently the treated nanofibers produce an electrical charge when they come into contact with untreated fibers.The power of friction! Really.When embedded within flooring, the nanofibers are able to produce electricity that can be harnessed to power lights or charge batteries, the university says. The research team — made up of Xudong Wang, an associate professor of materials science and engineering, and his graduate student Chunhua Yao — recently published their findings in the journal Nano Energy.Related: No Bull! This Robot Could Put Cowboys Out of Work.Perhaps the best part of their finding is the cost. Wood pulp is an inexpensive waste product of several industries, meaning that flooring that incorporates this new technique could be as affordable as conventional materials, the university says.You might get the biggest bang for your buck by installing flooring like this in high-traffic hallways and public places like malls. “We’ve been working a lot on harvesting energy from human activities. One way is to build something to put on people, and another way is to build something that has constant access to people.” Wang said in an announcement. “The ground is the most-used place.”Related: This Gizmo Literally Lets You See Through WallsWang and his team expect that the affordability of such a product could be appealing to regular Joes like me who might someday soon install flooring systems like this in my house, for about the same price as traditional flooring materials. I say, get your Electric Slide on and power up.last_img read more