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Air traffic controllers reveal tricks; VA cancels credit-monitoring offer; Doan throws out first pitch at hometown baseball game; Quakers rally for judge dismissed from 10-year Indian trust fund case; FCW to hold Geekapalooza

Air traffic controllers reveal tricks to escape airport waits on new Web site
AvoidDelays.com (www.avoiddelays.com), which a Federal Aviation Administration employee union maintains, lists the 10 worst times of the day to fly, the airports where you’ll most likely experience a delay and the flights that are guaranteed to be delayed by about two hours. The air travel system information is based on historical and live flight data.

“With more people flying more often than ever and cash-strapped airlines using smaller jets that require more connections, the system has become oversaturated,” said Ruth Marlin, executive vice president of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association. “Travelers, especially frequent business travelers, are the first to feel it. Until the system is fixed, the best anyone can do is try to navigate it wisely.”

The Web site includes:

  • Rankings of airports with the most departure and arrival delays.
  • A table of the 100 most-delayed flights.
  • The 10 worst times of day to fly into the airports with the most delayed arrivals.
  • An interactive function that allows travelers to check rankings before they book a flight and check flight status on the day they fly.
  • Detailed historical delay information for every airport in the United States.
  • A daily update of how many delays the system suffered the day before.
  • A detailed explanation of why delays are happening, what’s aggravating the problems and how they can be fixed.

VA cancels credit-monitoring offer
Jim Nicholson, secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs, reneged last week on a deal to provide free credit-monitoring services to veterans whose personal data could have been compromised when a laptop computer and hard drive were stolen from a VA employee’s home in May.

Police recovered the items last month, and FBI forensic experts examined them. “Given the FBI’s high degree of confidence that the information recently recovered was not accessed or compromised, VA believes that individual credit monitoring will no longer be necessary,” the department said in a statement posted on its Web site.

Doan throws out first pitch at hometown baseball game
Lurita Doan, the General Services Administration’s new administrator, threw out the first pitch at the New Orleans Zephyrs minor league game July 15. Doan, a New Orleans native, had been visiting her old neighborhood to discuss opportunities for local officials and business representatives to work with the federal government on disaster recovery programs. The Zephyrs are a farm club of the Washington Nationals. Doan is a Nats season ticket holder.

Quakers rally for judge dismissed from 10-year Indian trust fund case
A nonpartisan Quaker lobby group is unhappy that an appellate court decided to remove U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth from a long-running lawsuit alleging government mismanagement of Indian trust funds. Lamberth had overseen the case against the Interior Department for a decade.

“The U.S. Court of Appeals decision to remove Circuit Court Justice Royce Lamberth from the Indian trust fund mismanagement case presents a new challenge for efforts to win justice for Native Americans,” according to a statement from the Friends Committee on National Legislation.

“Judge Lamberth has listened to people long ignored,” said Joe Volk, the group’s executive secretary. “We appreciate his heartfelt passion and his plain-spokenness. It is difficult to think of another person who has risked so much professionally to stop egregious conduct against American Indians who have done nothing wrong and to encourage our government to demonstrate that this is a new era of reconciliation where it can be counted on by Native American people.”

FCW to hold Geekapalooza
Sometimes, we deserve a little ridicule ourselves. One doesn’t normally associate government information technology (GIT) with rock ’n’ roll, but that hasn’t stopped Federal Computer Week from sponsoring a battle of the bands for IT professionals. The upcoming networking event is dubbed “GIT Rockin’.”

The participation rules require all bands to have at least two members who work in the government IT community, either in the public or private sector. For consideration, applicants must submit a CD or sample of the group’s current music, along with a list of previous gigs. FCW will choose five bands. The groups will each perform a 20-minute set Oct. 19 at the State Theater in Falls Church, Va. The audience, which will include band members’ colleagues and spouses, will pick a winner.

Prizes include bragging rights and a full-page advertisement in FCW. Proceeds from ticket sales will benefit the United Services Organization. We aren’t making this up. GIT payin’.

Got a tip? Send it to asternstein@fcw.com.

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