Saturday, 29 December 2012

County’s top stories in 2012

Well-known American author and journalist Hal Borland said, “a year’s end is neither an end nor a beginning but a going on, with all the wisdom that experience can instill in us.” With a new year upon us it’s time to look back at some of the most relevant stories of 2012.
10. In April, new cadets reported to the Appalachian ChalleNGe Academy at Grays Knob. This was the first class of cadets and after completing a 22-week program 60 cadets graduated in December.
9. In March, victims in Laurel and Morgan counties received help from Harlan countians after a devastating tornado hit their area. Lives, homes and businesses were lost during this March storm.
8. In June, the Harlan County Board of Education began their search for a new superintendent after Tim Saylor submitted his intention to retire effective July 1. Saylor served 12 years as superintendent and 30 years in education. He is one of the district’s longest tenured superintendents. Following a mandated application process by state law, Assistant Superintendent Mike Howard was chosen to replace Saylor as superintendent. He had previously overseen the district’s finances.
7. In September, the Kentucky State Police discovered Bruce Penix, 47 of Kildav, deceased inside a resident. Robert E. Curry, 39, of Evarts, was arrested as a suspect in that death.
6. In May, Appalachian Regional Health care hospitals, including Harlan, and Coventry Care began negotiations over health care in eastern Kentucky. Facing a backlash from patients furious at the prospect of losing medical care, Coventry threatened to cancel its contract with ARH Health care affecting approximately 25,000 people in eastern Kentucky. After state involvement and failed negotiations, Coventry cancelled their contracts with ARH in November.
5. In February, Kentucky National Guard A Company 103rd BSB of Danville was activated to assist residents of the Green Hills Water District after Harlan County Judge-Executive Joe Grieshop declared a state of emergency. A 6,000 gallon water holding tank was set up and filled with spring water on top of Pine Mountain to provide water for residents. A few weeks later Black Mountain Water District consolidated with the Green Hills Water District to make improvements to the water system for Pine Mountain residents.
4. In March, the first of Kentucky’s 2012 mining fatalities occurred at Parton Brothers Contracting Company’s Timber Tree Mine No. 9 in Blair. James Bailey, 32, of Cumberland, died when he was pinned by the canopy he was installing on a mine shuttle car.
3. In May, during the primary election, S. Parker Boggs defeated incumbent Henry Johnson for the office of commonwealth attorney in Harlan. Boggs took 59.9 percent of the vote with 2,048 votes and Johnson received 36.5 percent with 1,246 votes. Boggs will assume that office in January.
2. A horrific Christmas Eve traffic crash in Knox County sent shock and grief throughout Harlan and Letcher counties, as well as Scott County, as two prominent school officials and community members died, along with their daughter and son-in-law. Gary and Patricia Caldwell had picked up their daughter, Julia Robinson, and her husband, Brent Robinson, at the airport in Lexington and were heading to Putney to be joined by other relatives to celebrate Christmas. Police said a vehicle crossed the median of the highway and slammed head on into the Caldwell vehicle, killing all four in the car as well as the driver of the other car, David Vanderpool, 31, of Williamsburg.
Emergency workers commented after the fiery crash that it was the worst scene they had ever encountered. As the story continues to unfold toward the start of a new year, details of an extensive criminal record for Vanderpool and his recent release from jail continue to add to the tragedy. A joint-funeral service was held at the Harlan Baptist Church on Friday, with hundreds attending to pay final respects to Gary, the finance director for Letcher County Schools, Patricia (Patty), the assistant principal at James A. Cawood Elementary School, Julia, a speech therapist at an elementary school in Bradenton, Fla., and Brent, a software developer. The funeral produced a scene that many attending commented that they had never seen nor ever want to see again - four hearses waiting to carry so many members of one family away from a funeral at one time.
1. Possibly no story has generated more discussion and concern than the layoffs in the coal industry stemming from the Environmental Protection Agency’s failure to approve mining permits for the area due to stiffer environmental regulations. As a result, this, along with the substantial message sent to President Barack Obama by Harlan County voters during the General Election in November has been the top story of 2012 for the county.
And, with news out of Washington DC, this week that Lisa Jackson, the head of the EPA was stepping down, Congressman Harold “Hal” Rogers called the action a belated Christmas present for the coal industry. Industry officials and local mining employees are hoping the new leader will lift some of the stringent regulations that have been imposed in recent months, stifling the permitting process for coal. As we move to 2013, the the future of the mining industry continues to have a lot of uncertainty.
Happy New Year to you from the staff and management of the Harlan Daily Enterprise.

Monday, 24 December 2012

Dulles Airport seen as potential engine for revenue

Reagan National Airport is the region’s smallest commercial airport. Boxed in by the Potomac River and Arlington County, it is popular with carriers and travelers, but it has no room to grow.
Dulles International Airport, 25 miles west of downtown Washington, doesn't have that problem. It has already grown, thanks to $4.1 billion in improvements since 2000, and it has the space to grow even more. Yet while National and Baltimore-Washington International Marshall Airport have seen increases in travelers, Dulles has seen a decline.
But officials at the authority that manages Dulles and National say they see far more than a problem. They see potential.
“Dulles is the opportunity for our future,” Margaret McKeough, chief operating officer of the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, told members of the authority’s board Wednesday. “It is a tremendous asset. . . . We are not close to maximizing the potential of that infrastructure.”
In a presentation to the board, staff members outlined two ways to generate more revenue from Dulles.

One option focuses on the airport itself, with plans to improve concessions, increase advertising, and add shops and restaurants.
The other option looks beyond the airport. The land managed by the authority around Dulles is largely undeveloped, and when Metro’s Silver Line extension reaches the airport in several years, McKeough said, that land will become more vital — and valuable.
“As far as I’m concerned, when it comes to Dulles, the sky’s the limit,” Jack Potter, the authority’s president and chief executive, told board members.
In an interview after his presentation, Potter stressed that there are no specific plans for development of the 3,000 acres surrounding Dulles.
Still, the MWAA board took a step in that direction Wednesday, approving an amendment to the lease that transferred control of the airports from the federal government to the authority in 1987.
The amendment loosens the lease’s restrictions on business in and around the airports. The lease largely restricts land use to business relating to air travel. But under the amendment, as long as the U.S. transportation secretary approves, the authority can use the land around Dulles to generate revenue.
“We need that flexibility,” Potter told the board.
Dulles has not seen the increase in travelers that the authority had projected for the past decade, a period that saw billions of dollars in renovations and expansion.
The number of passengers traveling through National increased to 18.8 million last year from 18 million in 2010. Officials are projecting about 19 million travelers this year.
Meanwhile, the number of travelers at Dulles declined to 23.2 million from 23.7 million in 2010 and 24.7 million in 2007.
BWI, which is operated by the state of Maryland, has seen year-to-year increases in four of the past five years, jumping from 21 million travelers in 2007 to 22.3 million last year.
The authority expects growth at Dulles this year to be relatively flat. That lack of growth and debt from the airport expansion have increased Dulles’s average cost per traveler.
It costs $25.30 per traveler boarding a plane at Dulles, roughly double the $12.72 per traveler boarding at National and nearly three times as much as BWI’s $9.29 per passenger.
Eventually, Dulles is expected to see the number of travelers increase, driven by overall growth in air travel. The Federal Aviation Administration projects that three times as many passengers will be boarding planes at Dulles by 2040.
MWAA officials say that the efforts of the past several years have positioned Dulles well to handle additional future travelers. With only minor alterations, Dulles could handle about 45 million passengers per year, said Frank Holly, MWAA vice president of engineering.
Even as board members weighed the future of Dulles, they were busy dealing with the aftermath of recent investigations into the authority. A report issued last month by the Transportation Department’s inspector general castigated the authority for ethical lapses and a dysfunctional corporate culture.
Potter said that the authority will complete each of the report’s 12 recommendations by next year.
“We believe we’re on the right track. . . . We know we have work left to do,” he said.
As part of the lease amendment approved Wednesday, the authority must adopt, maintain and follow the “best practices” regarding transparency, travel and ethics.
At the meeting, the board approved an update to the authority’s travel policy. The new policy,approved in September, requires directors to sign off on board-related travel. But the audit noted that “gray areas” remained under the new policy, which encouraged travelers to find reasonable rates but didn't specify what that meant.
The update specifically directs travelers to use lower group rates when available and says that luxury hotel costs will be reimbursed only up to the rate of a more affordable hotel nearby.

Saturday, 1 December 2012

The National Mall - Washington DC, USA

About the National Mall
Situated on the banks of the Potomac River, the National Mall is a two-mile swath of land bound by the U.S. Capitol to the east and the Washington Monument to the west. Visitors to "the Mall" will find a wide, pedestrian-friendly, tree-lined boulevard with moving monuments and memorials, world-famous museums and impressive federal buildings along Constitution Avenue.
The National Mall welcomes millions of visitors every year, but it has also played host to many history-making events. This is where Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his "I Have A Dream" speech to hundreds of thousands who marched on Washington. This is where protestors - from those opposing the Vietnam War during the turbulent 1960s to the peaceful protests of the 1980s punctuated by the AIDS quilt, to modern-day marchers rallying for and against everything from reproductive rights to big business- make their voices heard.

Monuments & memorials on the Mall
The National Mall is home to the country’s most famous monuments and memorials. The Lincoln, Jefferson, Martin Luther King, Jr. and Franklin Delano Roosevelt memorials all reside here. You’ll also find the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall, the National World War II Memorial and the Korean War Veterans Memorial.
DC’s monuments and memorials are free and open to the public 24 hours a day. Spread out across just two miles, it’s fairly easy to see them all in a day or two (be sure and include some time to rent a paddle boat at the Tidal Basin, where the Jefferson, FDR and MLK memorials are located). If walking the Mall isn’t in your plan, you can also rent a bike, Segway or see the sights via the hop-on, hop-off bus. Be sure to check out our Tours of DC's Monuments & Memorials for more information.
Museums on the Mall
The National Mall is also home to many of the country’s most popular museums. Smithsonian museums along the National Mall include the National Museum of American History, National Museum of Natural History, National Air and Space Museum, National Museum of the American Indian and the Smithsonian Castle.
The expansive National Gallery of Art, which features two wings of traditional and contemporary art, is also conveniently located on the Mall. The museum’s sculpture garden hosts free Jazz in the Garden concerts on Friday evenings during the summer and transforms itself into an ice skating rink during the winter.
For more information on navigating all 15 Smithsonian museums and the National Zoo, read Visiting the Smithsonian Museums.

If you are plan to a Washington DC tour and want to show the status of you and have landed on Washington Airport then limo service should be a Singh Airport Limo Service Washington DC. Not only for its dazzling look but it also offers an enticing and a relaxing interior to make your trip stylish.