Senators Seek to Eliminate Policy Language Limiting Housing Allowance

first_img 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.last_img read more

OBITUARY Peter J Michals III 80

first_imgTEWKSBURY, MA — Peter J. Michals III of Tewksbury passed away peacefully after a brief illness on July 19. He was 80 years old.He was born and grew up in East Cambridge, graduated from Rindge Technical School and Cambridge High and Latin. An altar boy in his youth, Peter was a devout Catholic all of his life, and attended Mass each week as a parishioner at St. Williams Church. At age 19, he enlisted in the U.S. Air Force and served from 1957 to 1960. He was a member of the Air Police and was stationed in Germany and France. He often recalled his service and the traveling he did with the Air Force as among his fondest memories. When he returned from service abroad, he married his sweetheart, Camille Samaria (Michals), who waited for him. Together, they had three children.Peter attended and held degrees from Boston University, Lowell Tech, and Lowell State University, now UMass Lowell. He was a caring family man who worked as an accountant and had a small tax preparation business until his retirement a few years ago. He loved his family, enjoyed playing sports with his son, and spent 15 years as a volunteer coach for Tewksbury Little League baseball. He was also a member of the Tewksbury-Wilmington Elks.He is survived by his beloved wife of 57 years, Camille; daughter Debra Michals and son-in-law Mark Antinoro of Newburyport; son Peter and daughter-in-law Kelly Curley of Contoocook, NH; grandson Cori Michals and granddaughter Ashley Michals of New Hampshire; step-grandchildren Sarah Antinoro and Melanie Antinoro of Acton, MA, and Casey Curley of Pensacola, FL.; his sister Janet Tosto of Tewksbury; and many nieces and nephews. His was predeceased by a daughter, Camille Marie “Camie.”Memorial Visiting hours will be on Wednesday, July 25, from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m. at Tewksbury Funeral Home, corner of 1 Dewey and 975 Main Sts. (Rte. 38) TEWKSBURY CENTER, followed by a Memorial Funeral Mass at 11:30 a.m. in St. Williams Church, 1351 Main St. (Rte. 38) Tewksbury. Burial will follow at St. Mary Cemetery, No. Tewksbury. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his name to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, P.O. Box 1000, Dept. 142, Memphis, TN 38148-0142 or visit http://www.stjude.org. Peter’s family would like to extend their gratitude to the caring staff of Woodbriar Health Center in Wilmington.Peter J. Michals III(NOTE: The above obituary is from the Tewksbury Funeral Home.)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… RelatedOBITUARY: Elizabeth J. “Betty” (Kilpatrick) Valente, 75In “Obituaries”OBITUARY: Donald R. Donahue, 80In “Obituaries”OBITUARY: Brandon M. Long, 27In “Obituaries”last_img read more

Washingtonian Magazine Ad Campaign About DC Manages to Include Zero Black People

first_imgBy Micha Green, AFRO Washington, D.C. Editor, mgreen@afro.comAlthough White residents may now make up 44 percent of the District’s population, Washington, D.C., once coined “Chocolate City,” is still majority African American with 47.7 percent of residents identifying as Black, according to the U.S. Census.Washingtonian Magazine completely disregarded the District’s majority population in a recently launched social media campaign.  In a series of photos located in various places around the city, people are seen wearing shirts that read, “I’M NOT A TOURIST.  I LIVE HERE.”  Every single person featured in the campaign- a campaign about living in a predominantly Black city- is White.A screenshot of the from Tony Lewis Jr.’s Instagram account admonishing the Washingtonian Magazine campaign “I am Not A Tourist.” (Screenshot)As soon as the campaign dropped, Black Twitter and Washingtonians immediately chastised the magazine and its tone deaf marketing.“PLEASE TAKE A LOOK AT [Washingtonian Magazine’s] DEPICTION OF WHO ‘LIVES HERE’… NOT ONE BLACK FACE IN THE ENTIRE PIECE,” social media influencer and community activist, Tony Lewis Jr. wrote on Instagram and Twitter.  Lewis wrote in all capital letters similarly to the campaign t-shirts.“BLACK PEOPLE STILL MAKE UP [47 percent] OF THIS CITY.  THIS IS DISRESPECTFUL, CARELESS, AND RACIST (YEAH I SAID IT, RACIST). THIS IS VERY REPRESENATIVE OF HOW WE FEEL IN OUR OWN CITY, THAT WE ARE INVISIBLE, THAT WE DON’T EXIST.  THAT PEOPLE MOVE HERE HAVE MORE VALUE THAN THOSE BORN HERE.  THAT WHEN WE DIE IN THE STREETS IT ISN’T IMPORTANT, THAT THE NEW RESTAURANT OR CONDO SUPERCEDES OUR EXISTENCE,” Lewis wrote.He then encouraged Washingtonians to not support the magazine.The controversy surrounding the shirts and campaign quickly escalated, prompting Washingtonian to delete the campaign and apologize.“As a native Washingtonian, I am very sorry that our latest  ‘I Am Not A Tourist’ marketing campaign did not represent the wonderfully diverse city in which we live,” Washingtonian Magazine CEO and president Catherine Merrill Williams wrote in  a statement.“This was the very beginning of a campaign in which all intentions are to include the many communities that make up our city.  We solicited pictures from a diverse group of people and put the pictures up in the order they came in.  People who saw the initial gallery of pictures had no way of knowing that it was not, in fact, the entirety of the marketing campaign. We took down the initial post because it created an impression that was inconsistent with our values and standards. We’re confident that when the campaign is complete it will reflect the diversity of the readership that we serve,” she wrote.Despite the apology some Washingtonians are still outraged.In response to Washingtonian’s campaign, Lewis is putting together a photoshoot on May 20 at Union Market for residents “born, raised and educated” in D.C.“We will provide a counter narrative that there are still folks who were born, raised, and educated in this city still here.  We will provide a counter image that not every person living in the city is a [White] millennial,” Lewis wrote on Instagram.The dress code for the photo shoot is all black.last_img read more