Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM) plans to eliminate about 900 civilian and contractor positions, or 5.5 percent of its existing civilian workforce, over the next two years, according to Army data released to the Tacoma News Tribune.The news comes on the heels of the Army’s announcement in July about its plans to shrink its active-duty end strength from 490,000 to 450,000 soldiers by the end of fiscal 2018. Officials at the time said the restructuring would be accompanied by civilian cutbacks, but as recently as last November the Army said it had not yet determined how many civilian employees would be affected.The Army’s latest restructuring is slated to eliminate 1,251 soldiers at the installation in the South Sound region of Washington state.Leaders at JBLM have been meeting to figure out how they’ll cope with hundreds fewer workers to support the installation’s day-to-day operations. Those reductions, along with additional staffing cuts expected through 2022, “will fundamentally change how we operate on base,” said Greta Powell, chief of the base’s resource management office.“It’s bleak,” Powell said.The Army plans to achieve the cutbacks primarily through attrition and retirements, said Army spokesman Lt. Col. Joe Buccino.As the Army draws down from two wars, it will need fewer civilians to run its installations, according to the story. One reason is that some functions filled by civilians now can be handled by soldiers, such as gate security. In other cases, the shrinking number of military personnel will require a smaller installation support staff.“This isn’t a crisis or a catastrophe,” said Tom Knight, the base’s chief of staff. “This is an opportunity to reassess ourselves to change the way we’re doing business here for a lot of the right reasons. We have much more of a home-station military right now,” Knight said.In advance of the cuts, Gov. Jay Inslee (D) in July directed state agencies to develop a plan for helping service members and civilian workers find new careers. Dan Cohen AUTHOR
Dan Cohen AUTHOR Language in the Senate version of the fiscal 2017 defense authorization bill that would reduce service members’ basic allowance for housing (BAH) payments in many cases, including for dual-service military families and single members living together, should not be included in the compromise version of the legislation, according to a bipartisan group of 18 senators.The Senate language would limit BAH payments to actual expenses for rent and utilities, preventing personnel from pocketing extra payments if they find less expensive housing. The existing system offers military members a flat payment based on their rank and location.But the Senate proposal also would cut the BAH for dual-military couples in half, to prevent each service member from receiving extra housing compensation. And personnel who choose to share housing would see their individual stipends adjusted to cover only their actual costs, reported Military Times.“The changes outlined in S. 2943 would cause significant financial hardship to many military families and unfairly penalize dual-service military couples as well as single-service members who cohabitate in order to make financial ends meet,” Sens. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), John Boozman (R-Ark.), Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and 15 colleagues wrote the leaders of both chambers’ Armed Services committees last week.The Senate provision also would bring about costly, new administrative burdens and unintended consequences to the military services, according to the senators.“Adequate research, planning and understanding is required before such sweeping changes can be responsibly advanced,” they wrote.Senate Armed Services Committee staff say the overhaul would save tens of millions of dollars without sacrificing service members’ housing benefits. DOD officials oppose the plan, describing the BAH as part of members’ larger compensation package.The changes are not part of the bill passed by the House. Last week, House and Senate conferees began reconciling the two versions of the annual policy bill.
2019 Nissan Leaf Plus: A positive spin on an old favorite 2020 Hyundai Palisade review: Posh enough to make Genesis jealous 48 Photos More From Roadshow Post a comment Enlarge ImageThis is the Honda Fit EV. It didn’t get sold in Thailand but that’s not going to stop the Thai government from making its own version. Honda Converting older cars into electric vehicles was once one of the only ways to get an EV in your driveway, but it’s gone somewhat out of fashion as commercially available, purpose-built EVs have become common.But the government of Thailand reportedly plans to develop its own electric vehicles. Specifically, the state-run Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) isn’t content for makers of electric cars to bring their wares to the country, so it’s going the way of Fugazi and doing it itself, according to a report Thursday by PaulTan.org.Now, the government isn’t going to just go all willy-nilly, modifying whatever is lying around. It’s going to focus its efforts on three specific models that are commonly available used in Thailand. Those are the Toyota Vios, Honda Jazz and Nissan Almera, which we know as the Toyota Yaris sedan, Honda Fit and Nissan Versa.EGAT is targeting a price of around 300,000 Thai baht (or approximately $9,470) to complete the conversion. This would include lithium-ion batteries, an electric motor and all the associated electronic gubbins necessary to make the thing work.Whether these converted EVs are any good remains to be seen, and since more are becoming available through more traditional means — Hyundai sells the Ioniq and Kona Electric in Thailand now, Nissan sells the Leaf and has for a year — we’ll be curious to see if anyone actually buys one. 2020 Kia Telluride review: Kia’s new SUV has big style and bigger value 0 Share your voice Electric Cars Car Culture Tags 2020 BMW M340i review: A dash of M makes everything better Honda Nissan Toyota
A blue moon occurs once every 2.7 years. (Twitter)ReutersSkygazers have something to cheer, as the full moon in May, popularly known as the flower moon will grace the skies with its full beauty in the night of May 18. However, this year’s flower moon will also be a ‘Blue Moon’, even though our natural satellite will not appear blue in the skies. So, why today’s full moon is called Blue Moon? Let us check it out.What is a Blue Moon?Usually, the term ‘Blue Moon’ is given to a lunar cycle when two full moons happen in a month and it can also be the third of four full moons during a single season. This year, it is the third of four moons this spring, and this happens quite rarely.”The name ‘Blue Moon’ has nothing to do with the colour of the Moon. Every two to three years we have 13 full Moons within a year. This way, we can have four full Moons during a given season or two full Moons in a given month,” said Gianluca Masi, astrophysicist and director of the Virtual Telescope Project in Rome, CNN reports.Brian Murphy, a professor of physics and astronomy at Butler University in Indiana revealed that Saturday’s blue moon will appear as a normal full moon, and he added that there will not be anything odd about it. Murphy added that earth’s natural satellite will appear in its greyish white colour, Washington Post reports.Did Blue Moon has a historical connection?NASA reveals that the Blue Moon has a little historical connection, and interestingly it is linked with a volcanic eruption. As per the United States space agency, the Krakatoa volcanic eruption that happened in Indonesia in 1883 sent plumes of ashes into the skies, and it turned the moon to blue colour for quite some time.”The time was 1883, the year an Indonesian volcano named Krakatoa exploded. Scientists liken the blast to a 100-megaton nuclear bomb. Fully 600 km away, people heard the noise as loud as a cannon shot. Plumes of ash rose to the very top of Earth’s atmosphere. And the moon turned blue. Krakatoa’s ash is the reason,” wrote NASA.Is Blue Moon and the Supermoon the same?Many people often misinterpret a Blue Moon as a Supermoon. However, Blue Moon and Supermoon are entirely different. A supermoon happens when the earth’s natural satellite comes very close to the earth than its average distance. It should be noted that the average distance between the earth and the moon is 238,000 miles, but during a supermoon, this distance gets reduced to 221,000 miles.
Kolkata: Presidency University on Monday submitted a report to the state Higher Education department over the delay in Hindu hostel handover.It may be mentioned that the University failed to meet the November 15 deadline given by the state Higher Education department in this regard and Vice-Chancellor Anuradha Lohia sought another 15 days’ time for completing some work pertinent to the habitation of the students. It has been learnt that state Education minister Partha Chatterjee has expressed his dissatisfaction over the delay and has asked his department officials to find whether it is the university authorities or the agency deployed by the university is responsible for the delay. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal life”It has been three years since the renovation of the Hindu Hostel started. The students had waited patiently. It is not unusual that they are now restless with the deadline failures on more than one occasion,” a senior official of the state Higher Education department said. V-C Lohia on Friday had said the state Public Works Department (PWD) that is in-charge of the renovation of the hostel submitted a report stating that a little bit of work was still pending when it comes to the safety and security of the boarders. She also said the safety certificates from the state Fire and PWD departments are still pending as well. It may be mentioned that Hindu Hostel was closed for renovation in July 2015 and the boarders were provided with lodging facilities at Tarulia in New Town. The university has failed to meet deadlines on more than one occasion in case of Hindu Hostel handover. The students had resorted to agitation for a long period.