Quake Takes: Damage Assessment by Drone
Drone Book, Jan. 21, 2019
Alaska Aerial Media’s goal of convincing government agencies in The Last Frontier to explore the next aviation frontier paid off late last year after an earthquake hit near Anchorage. The Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities hired the company to map the damages with its fleet of drones. Alaska Aerial Media quickly deployed its crews to document the infrastructure damage, and the DOT&PF used the footage to assess the situation remotely and prioritize repairs.

A Generation of ‘Flying Fools’
FAA internal website and Medium, Oct. 12, 2018
More than 150 aircraft were hijacked from 1960-80, a rash of lawlessness that turned some “flying fools” into folk heroes — until the piracy inevitably turned violent and deadly. This “golden age of skyjacking” led to new laws, regulations, executive orders and treaties, and the FAA played a key role in developing and periodically strengthening the U.S. approach to aviation security.

A Honey Of A Tale About Bees And The FAA
FAA internal website and Medium, Jan. 25, 2018
Forget that fantastical story line on ABC’s “Designated Survivor.” Bee buffs and aviation radar experts agree — electromagnetic waves can’t kill entire colonies of honeybees, a theory that writers incorporated into the Dec. 6 episode of the conspiratorial drama. In my role as a writer for the FAA, I talked to a radar specialist, a bee scientist, two actors in the episode and others. They all chuckled at the idea of aircraft surveillance radar disorienting honeybees to the point of starvation.

The Tragic Tale of Thomas Selfridge
FAA internal website and Medium, Aug. 25, 2017
Thomas Selfridge (left) with Alexander Graham Bell, who recruited the military aviator for his Aerial Experiment Association that was competing with the Wright Brothers to be the first in flight (Photo: Air National Guard)[/caption]Most pioneer aviators are known for their famous flights, but one of them is best remembered for a fatal flight. Thomas Selfridge became the first person to die in a motorized aircraft accident 109 years ago this September. He was 26 years old and flying as a passenger with Orville Wright when the aircraft crashed during a demonstration flight.

Blazing An Aerial Imagery Trail
Drone Book, Aug. 18, 2017
Keith Muratori has made a career out of fighting fires – and photographing them. Now he is taking his joint passions for extinguishing and chronicling flames to the air. When he’s not on duty, Muratori monitors news of fires via various outlets and heads to those locations. Then he records the tragic moments with either the camera around his neck or the drone in the air above them.

The Aviatrix Whose Name Lives in Infamy
FAA internal website and Medium, Aug. 18, 2017
Laura Houghtaling Ingalls earned fame as a daredevil, speed and distance pilot in the 1930s but ruined her reputation by aligning herself with Nazis. She lost her pilot’s license after an illegal pamphlet-dropping flight over Washington, D.C., and was later convicted of working as an unregistered agent for the German Reich. After her release from jail, Ingalls unsuccessfully sought a presidential pardon for years.

‘Sully’: The Air Traffic Controller’s Story
FAA internal website and Medium, Oct. 7, 2016
A few eventful minutes at work on Jan. 15, 2009, left an indelible mark in New York air traffic controller Patrick Harten’s mind. He constantly replayed those terrifying moments in his head in the weeks that followed, and although they ultimately ended with the inspiring tale known as “The Miracle on the Hudson,” Harten kept imagining the tragedy that might have been. Now he is reliving those remarkable moments all over again — on the big screen via actor Patch Darragh, who plays Harten in the movie “Sully.”

How Air Force One Got Its Name
FAA internal website and Medium, Aug. 5, 2016
The origin of the call sign Air Force One became newsworthy when a restored Lockheed Constellation took flight for the first time in more than a decade. The aircraft’s given name is Columbine II, but it was also the first presidential aircraft to be called Air Force One. Now the plane’s new owner, Karl Stoltzfus of Dynamic Aviation in Bridgewater, Va., wants everyone to know the true story behind the name, not the myths floating around the Internet.

Beware the Allure of Shale ‘Mailbox Money’
EagleFordForum and GoHaynesvilleShale, Feb. 27, 2013
If a land man calls with an offer of “mailbox money” for the mineral rights on your property, read closely before signing on the dotted line. If you don’t, oil and gas lawyer Ben Elmore said the words above it may come back to haunt you. The fine print that people in Texas didn’t read in their royalty deals a few years ago may be making them miserable now.

A Law Practice Built On ‘All Things Marcellus’
GoMarcellusShale, Jan. 22, 2013
For Pennsylvania attorney Douglas Clark, the Marcellus Shale is a family matter. His first clients in the oil and gas space were his in-laws and their neighbors in Wayne County, and he has built an entire business around representing rural landowners in the Keystone State who remind him of his parents and grandparents.

Your Friendly Neighborhood Oil And Gas Lawyer
EagleFordForum and GoHaynesville Shale, Jan. 9, 2013
The case of the “Central Burleson Holdouts” sticks in the mind of Fort Worth, Texas, attorney Eric Camp because it taught oil and gas operators learned to protect their interests while engaging in “rooftop leasing.” But property owners don’t tend to follow legal news like corporate lawyers. As a result, property owners are more likely to be burned now.

Sitting On Top Of The Shale World
GoMarcellusShale, Jan. 9, 2013
Douglas Berkley Jr. was laboring in relative online marketing obscurity for a Pittsburgh newspaper when he discovered his passion for the shale business. Now he works for a company that is part of the shale space, and he runs a budding network of social media sites about it.

Take That Trash Off My Wall
The Crime Report, Feb. 23, 2012

Police departments across America are facing a new concern as they get more social: how to balance the community benefits of public interaction with the risks of creating an open, public forum.

Facebook Patrol: The Social Police Beat
The Crime Report, May 18, 2011
Dozens of police departments across the country — and around the world — are moving into the social media space, both to connect with citizens and to search for criminals. The departments also use social media to report news directly to the public, minus the challenges and aggravations of filtering information through traditional media.

Judging Social: Modern Media In Court
Justice 2.0, May 16, 2011
Online videos like those on the Indiana high court’s YouTube channel are just one technique that courts — and some judges — are using to expand their communications horizons. As more people go to social media for information, the judicial branch is getting social to reach them.

Trial By Twitter: Real-time Court Coverage
Justice 2.0, May 16, 2011
Twitter is becoming both a valuable news tool in general and a great gadget for covering trials in particular. Journalists can report dramatic court testimony, legal maneuverings and more as soon as they happen, and they can do it in more detail than traditional media allow.

YouTube Debates: How Innovative Are They?
Technology Daily, July 23, 2007
The organizers of the first YouTube presidential debate bill it as a “history-making” event that will take such debates to a new level of the “town hall” concept introduced in 1992. People in the online politics world agree but were hoping for more of a revolution than the evolution the format offers. But one critic lambasted YouTube as a “self-interested,” non-journalistic company whose only goal is to make money by driving traffic to its website.

Policy Storms Of The Century
National Journal, Sept. 17, 2006
Meteorologically speaking, the hurricane that slammed into the Gulf Coast on Aug. 29 died days later in the northern part of the continent. Politically speaking, Katrina is very much alive, and its eye has settled over Washington for the foreseeable future.

The Rise Of Blogs
National Journal, Jan. 21, 2006
These days there is plenty of chatter about blogs — and with good reason. The technology has taken firm root in the capital. Since summer, bloggers have testified before Congress and the Federal Election Commission; have been invited to Capitol Hill for exclusive interviews with lawmakers and to participate in conference calls with administration officials; and have spurred heated debates on everything from Supreme Court nominees to pork-barrel spending.

Members Of Congress Who Blog
National Journal, Jan. 21, 2006
Politicians are rarely on the cutting edge of technology, and that is as true with blogs as it has been with Web sites, e-mail newsletters, and other recent online innovations. Three years after blogs helped force Mississippi Republican Trent Lott out of the Senate majority leader’s office, fewer than 1 percent of his colleagues in Congress have created blogs.

Prevailing Views On Prevailing Wages
National Journal, Oct. 8, 2005
One of President Bush’s first steps in response to Hurricane Katrina was to suspend the law that governs the wages of workers who construct federal facilities. That decision reignited a debate about the 1931 Davis-Bacon Act, which allows the president to take such unilateral action during national emergencies. This essay examines the history of that law.

Sunshine Has Never Been Easy
National Journal, Aug. 13, 2005
Advocates of open access to government documents are pushing for another update to the Freedom of Information Act, and they have the support of some key members of Congress. But strengthening FOIA may be difficult because of the emphasis on security since the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The circumstances today resemble those in the 1950s, when the initial congressional push for FOIA began.

Brad Smith Departs To Cheers And Jeers
National Journal, Sept. 3, 2005
During his five years at the Federal Election Commission, Bradley A. Smith earned a reputation for pointed rhetoric against campaign finance reformers. That explains why they are celebrating Smith’s departure from the commission. But free-speech advocates are lamenting the loss of a man they see as a principled, fearless and eloquent champion of the First Amendment.

Which Way Internet Privacy?
Financial Executive, July/August 2001
Privacy advocates see hope in the Senate’s sudden shift to Democratic control, thanks to Sen. James Jeffords’ decision to bolt the GOP. But no longer do policymakers and political observers use words like “inevitable” and “substantial” when discussing Internet privacy legislation; instead, they talk of being cautious, sober and incremental.

A New Driver on the Tech Policy Road
Silicon Alley Reporter
, May 2001
Now that George W. Bush is in the White House, with an almost evenly split Congress, the question is how he will reshape the information age policies of a Clinton-Gore administration that voters only half-heartedly rejected. The high-tech plan Bush and his advisory council crafted during last year’s presidential campaign offered a few glimpses into the new president’s thinking on technology and its place in the policy arena.

It’s The (New) Economy, Stupid!
Silicon Alley Reporter, March 2001
The Internet existed before Bill Clinton was president, but it became ubiquitous during his eight years in office. Americans increasingly shop, chat and conduct their business online. Companies that struggled to survive at the outset of Clinton’s two terms in office, such as America Online, now rule the economic roost. So as Clinton, a former president whose obsession with his legacy has become legendary, starts his quest to secure a friendly reading of his administration in the pages of history, perhaps he should think technology first.

John Hancock Goes Digital
Financial Executive, March/April 2001
If the digital zealots of the world are right, Oct. 1, 2000 marked the beginning of a revolution. That is the day John Hancock, one of the heroes of another great revolution, became passé. So what made the date so special? The Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act, otherwise known as the E-SIGN Act, took effect.

The State of the Workplace
Jugglezine.com, January 2001
The snapshot of the workplace at the start of the 21st century is noticeably different than a century earlier. Laws limit the length of the workweek and mandate overtime pay, a minimum wage, and workplace safety. Employer-subsidized health insurance, vacation and sick leave are the norm. And more recent innovations—unpaid family leave, child-care subsidies and work/life conferences—are becoming commonplace. Some employers even offer quirky benefits like access to pet insurance.

St. Louis: Media City on the Big River
Media Life Magazine, Sept. 21, 2000
To a great extent, the media market in St. Louis revolves around the city’s professional sports teams. But the automotive sector also accounts for up to 40 percent of the media dollars spent in the city. Despite a robust economy in St. Louis, local ad buying has been on the downswing. Even the locally based dot-coms have been spending their ad dollars nationally rather than in St. Louis.

Does the ADA Belong in Web Design?
Silicon Alley Reporter, Sept. 1, 2000
If disability rights advocates get their way, website designers will create pages that bridge the digital divide between the disabled and the able-bodied. And in the end, the Internet will empower the disabled and help them overcome the obstacles of a bricks-and-mortar world. The Web is not there yet, though. Many websites don’t pass the accessibility test, and not all developers are eager to make sure they do.

Impeachment And The Internet
IntellectualCapital.com, Dec. 3, 1998
HarpWeek’s “Impeachment of Andrew Johnson” website is a virtual library that summarizes the arguments for and against the 1868 impeachment of Johnson, the only president ever to have been impeached by the House and to have faced a Senate impeachment trial. It brings context to the debate about President Clinton’s offenses.

An Internet Legend: ‘The Bill Of No Rights’
IntellectualCapital.com, July 9, 1998
Lewis Napper’s “Bill of No Rights” has become an Internet legend. Napper receives 10 or 15 e-mail messages a day from people worldwide who appreciate insights like this: “You do not have the right to a new car, big-screen TV or any other form of wealth. More power to you if you can legally acquire them, but no one is guaranteed anything.”

Fighting The Good Fight Against MS
Prince William Journal, April 10, 1997

When outdoor adventure educator Ann Zabaldo experienced numbness and tingling in her legs in January 1988, she credited it to a spill in the creek. But a brain scan soon rendered a far different and broader-reaching verdict — multiple sclerosis, a degenerative disease of the central nervous system. She eventually had to transition away from her job as an outdoor adventure educator into a home-based business manufacturing specialty greeting cards for outdoor enthusiasts. In her spare time, she fights MS by volunteering her time for the annual MS Walk. A local walk is scheduled for this Saturday.

It Took Time, But Now They Call Him ‘Jake The Snake’
Dominion Post, Feb. 19, 1989
Jake Roberts never cared too much for snakes. More often than not, he avoided the scaly reptiles because of an innate sense of fear. But after years of frustration, he decided it was time to overcome his phobia, so he bought a snake as a pet. “Two weeks later I touched it — and a month later I picked it up,” he said. These days Roberts is known as Jake “The Snake,” his trademark as a professional wrestler in the World Wrestling Federation, and his sidekick and constant companion is Damien, a 15-foot Burmese python.

Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: