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Now browsing: Hometown News > Community > Brevard County

Community notes - Beaches
Rating: 3.09 / 5 (23 votes)  
Posted: 2012 Dec 28 - 06:28

Donate late-model sedans, old clunkers or anything in between

St. Vincent de Paul Orlando welcomes any vehicle donation.

All proceeds from local donations are used to support the charity work of St. Vincent de Paul here in Central Florida.

Donating any used car, truck, motorcycle, boat or recreational vehicle - working or non-working - is completely hassle-free and can be easily scheduled by calling (800) 322-8284 or by visiting www.svdpusacars.com.

All donations are tax deductible, and a tax receipt can be issued, if necessary.

One of the oldest charitable organizations in the world, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, is a Catholic organization of more than 690,000 men and women throughout the world who voluntarily join together to grow spiritually and offer person-to-person service to the needy and suffering in 142 countries on five continents.

With the U.S. headquarters in St. Louis, membership in the United States totals more than 146,000 in 4,600 communities.

Programs include home visits, housing assistance, disaster relief, job training and placement, food pantries, dining halls, clothing, transportation and utility costs, care for the elderly and medicine.

The organization serves more than 14 million people in need each year, performs more than 644,000 visits to people in their homes, and delivers more than seven million service hours to those in need.

America's veterans honored

Giant Recreation World, Central Florida's No. 1 recreational vehicle dealer network, has announced that on Nov. 11 and 12, the business fed complimentary meals to more than 2,500 veterans and their family members.

Many Giant Recreation World customers, employees and their family members have served in the armed forces, and the event was in recognition of their service to the country.

Veterans enjoyed this recognition at The Country House Restaurant in Winter Garden, which served more than 450 meals.

The Palm Shores Riverview Diner in Palm Shores served almost 500 meals, and at both Steve's Famous Diner locations in Daytona Beach, veterans and their families were served a combined total 1,560 meals.

This special appreciation event had all the diners filled to capacity, with veterans and their families enjoying great food.

Founded in 1976, Giant Recreation World is an industry leader in delivering quality recreation vehicles at a superior value.

The company's 90 employees provide sales and service from three Florida locations: Winter Garden, Melbourne and Ormond Beach.

The company's goal is for every customer to have an excellent consumer experience.

Visit the company's website to learn more about Giant Recreation World's new, used and rental products and customer satisfaction goal of never losing business over price at www.giantrecreationworld.com.

Proposals needed for education flights

NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston is accepting applications from teams of kindergarten, elementary and secondary school teachers to conduct scientific experiments aboard the agency's reduced gravity aircraft next year.

The MicroGravity experience flight program will take place July 12-20, 2013, at Johnson.

Educators selected to fly also will participate in an online professional development course centered on microgravity science in the months before and after their flights.

Interested educators are encouraged to apply at http://microgravityuniversity.jsc.nasa.gov/tfs.

The deadline for proposals is Jan. 9. Selections will be announced Feb. 6.

For more information on NASA's education programs, visit http://www.nasa.gov/education.

Domestic violence survivors offered services

 

Heidar Hesmati, director of the Brevard County Health Department recently received a $90,000 grant from the Shirley E. Noland Foundation. The funding will provide dental care for women, children and men survivors of domestic violence through the Hand Up Dental Clinic at the Brevard County Health Department.

The Hand Up Dental Clinic program was established through the combined efforts of the Shirley E. Noland Foundation, Space Coast Volunteers in Medicine and the Brevard County Health Department.

The Hand Up Dental Clinic will provide dental services for women, children, and men, who have suffered dental trauma as a result of domestic violence.

Individuals should call the Brevard County Health Department at (321) 383-2784 to schedule an appointment with the Hand Up Dental Clinic.

Ice sheet loss at both poles increasing

An international team of experts, supported by NASA and the European Space Agency, has combined data from multiple satellites and aircraft to produce the most comprehensive and accurate assessment to date of ice sheet losses in Greenland and Antarctica and their contributions to sea level rise.

In a recently published landmark study in the journal "Science," 47 researchers from 26 laboratories report the combined rate of melting for the ice sheets covering Greenland and Antarctica has increased during the last 20 years.

Together, these ice sheets are losing more than three times as much ice each year (equivalent to sea level rise of .04 inches or .95 millimeters) as they were in the 1990s (equivalent to .01 inches or .27 millimeters).

About two-thirds of the loss is coming from Greenland, with the rest from Antarctica.

Combined, melting of these ice sheets contributed 044 inches (11.1 millimeters) to global sea levels since 1992. This accounts for one-fifth of all sea level rise within the 20-year survey period. The remainder is caused by the thermal expansion of the warming ocean, melting of mountain glaciers and small Arctic ice caps and groundwater mining.

For more information, visit http://icesat.gsfc.nasa.gov and http://www.csr.utexas.edu/grace.

Graduation and dropout rates released

The Florida Department of Education has released the 2011-12 graduation and dropout rates, and Brevard Public Schools' students are much more likely to stay in school and earn a diploma than their counterparts in almost all other Florida public schools.

According to the Federal Uniform Graduation Rate, BPS' graduation rate, at 85.20 percent, remains among the highest in the state (for) 2011-12. The state of Florida graduation rate for 2011-12 was 74.5 percent.

Brevard has the fourth-highest graduation rate in the state, behind Nassau, St. Johns and Gilchrist counties.

Since 2007-08, BPS' graduation rate has risen from 75.90-85.20 percent.

Further evidence that Brevard students are remaining in school can also be seen in the district's dropout rate. BPS' dropout rate is .6 percent, down from .7 percent in 2010-11.

The dropout rate is the percentage of ninth- through 12th-grade dropouts compared to the ninth- through 12th-grade total, year-long membership. The state of Florida dropout rate for 2011-12 was 1.90 percent.

Local skin care company partners with organic market

Beach Organics Skin Care, a local, organic bath and body company, has announced its new partnership with The Jungle Organic in Indialantic on Highway A1A.

An organic market, Jungle Organics boasts the only organic restaurant in Brevard County, and offers the finest quality of natural and organic foods, produce, supplements and health and beauty products for the whole family.

Beach Organics Skin Care is a local company that manufactures a full range of bath and body products, handmade in small batches, using natural, organic ingredients.

The full product range is available at its headquarters in Cocoa, The Bath Cottage in Cocoa Village, Dr. Rochelle's office in Satellite Beach, Island Therapeutic Massage in Merritt Island, Wellspring Medical in Suntree, Nature's Market in Melbourne and now at Jungle Organic in Indialantic.

Lab equipment donated to program

 

The Animal Emergency and Critical Care Center of Brevard recently donated a vet lab station and an assortment of lab-related items to Brevard Community College's Veterinary Technology Program.

Animal Emergency and Critical Care Center has had a longstanding relationship with the BCC veterinary technician program to include not only donating equipment to the program, but also offering students the opportunity to work their required clinical rotations.

The Animal Emergency and Critical Care Center of Brevard, located at the southwest corner of Eau Gallie Boulevard and Croton Road in Melbourne, offers emergency services for pets 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

There is always a veterinarian on the premises, using state-of-the-art imaging equipment to handle emergency and specialty care needs.

Its specialty team includes board certified veterinarians, providing emergency and elective surgery and internal medical treatment, as well as neurology, cardiology, canine physical rehabilitation and hyperbaric oxygen therapy.

For more information, call (321) 725-5365 or visit www.CentralFloridaAnimalER.com.

Boat course offered

The Banana River Sail and Power Squadron will offer the Basic Boating Course, with a two-session class scheduled on consecutive Saturdays.

The classes will be held on Saturday, Feb. 16 and 23, from 8:45 a.m. to 3 p.m. at West Marine, 1001 W. New Haven Ave., (U.S. Highway 192), West Melbourne.

The fee for the class is $50. Bring your lunch. Refreshments will be served.

This course covers must-know topics: types of boats, hulls and propulsion methods, rules of the road, required safety equipment, navigation aids, lights and sounds, anchoring, communications afloat, adverse conditions, water sports safety, trailering and personal water craft safety.

Additionally, an on-the-water session will also be held demonstrating trailer launching and retrieval; and hands-on basic boat handling, anchoring and docking.

For more information, contact Ernst G. Hofmann at hofmanneg@juno.com or call (321) 220-7776.

Women's tennis schedule announced

Head women's tennis coach Bill Macom has announced Florida Tech's upcoming 2013 schedule.

The 18th-ranked Panthers will open the season on Feb. 2 with four consecutive home games, all against nationally ranked opponents.

Florida Tech will face 14 preseason nationally ranked teams in its 20-match season. Seven of those competitors reside in the Sunshine State Conference, with all of them ranking in the top 26 - eight including the Panthers. FIT will also face the likes of 12 nationally ranked singles players and six ranked doubles teams.

FIT opens the season with conference foe and No. 5 Barry University on Feb. 2 at the Fee Avenue Courts at noon. The Buccaneers enter the season with the No. 9, No. 19 and No. 50 ranked singles players in Division II. The Panthers' own Kristina Huba, who is ranked No. 4, after finishing third at the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Small College Nationals this fall, defeated all three of Barry's top singles players on her way to FIT's first-ever ITA South Region Singles Championship.

The Panthers will then host No. 27 Palm Beach Atlantic (2/8), No. 16 Nova Southeastern (2/10) and No. 26 Tampa (2/15) in their opening four-game homestand.

FIT will close out the month of February on the road at Eckerd (2/17), No. 12 Saint Leo (2/18), against No. 46 Chestnut Hill in Tampa and at No. 39 Flagler (2/28). Seven of the eight opponents the Panthers will face in February are preseason nationally ranked.

For more information, visit www.floridatechsports.com/wtennis/roster/ or call (321) 674-7484.

Engine maintenance course offered

 

The Banana River Sail & Power Squadron is offering its very popular marine maintenance course again in January.  The number of student slots is limited due to the individual attention given to attendees and the classroom setting in a marine engine repair shop.

The first class will be held on Jan. 17; however, registration closes on Thursday, Jan. 3.

The course will be held at the repair facility of Lew Rivers and Associates, 355 Tortoise View Drive, Satellite Beach.

This course is all about the maintenance and diagnosis of modern systems and gasoline inboards, outboards and diesel engines. This is a "must have" class for all who wish to maintain and extend the life of their marine engines.

Go to www.BRSPS.org to register online with PayPal; or send a check, payable to BRSPS, to Ernst Hofmann, 290 Paradise Blvd., No. 36, Indialantic, FL, 32903.

For more information, call (321) 777-9462.

Dog and cat food and supplies needed

The Central Brevard Humane Society is in desperate need of Purina Kitten & Puppy Chow, canned food (kittens, puppies, cats and dogs), dish soap, blankets, comforters, sheets, towels, dog and cat toys, laundry soap, paper towels, rubbing alcohol, Clorox bleach, distilled water and Fabuloso.

All donated items can be brought to the Humane Society, 1020 Cox Road, Cocoa during regular business hours (open seven days a week at 11 a.m. daily).

Gift cards for BJ's Wholesale Club, Home Depot, Lowe's Home Improvement Warehouse, Office Depot, PetsMart, Petco, Pet Supermarket, Target, Sam's Club, Staples and/or WalMart are always appreciated to help with shopping needs.

For more information, contact the Central Brevard Humane Society at (321) 636-3343 or visit www.crittersavers.com.

Volunteers needed on island

The Samsons Island volunteer program recruits individuals, families and local organizations to help with park duties that suit the volunteers' ability levels.

Samsons Island is a 52-acre island owned by the city of Satellite Beach. It is located on the Indian River Lagoon.

City volunteers and staff work to re-vegetate the island.

Volunteer any Sunday, from 1-4 p.m. during the regular park workday.

Call Kerry Stoms at (321) 773-6458 or email kstoms@satellitebeach.org.

Beach festival was success

On Dec. 1, a tradition was born with the resounding success of the first Ocean Reef Beach Festival in Satellite Beach.

Pelican Beach Park was filled with 57 exhibits and vendors, ranging from eminent coastal scientists to displays of coastal art from local senior citizens and just about everything in between.

The estimated 2,000 attendees experienced a mix of education, live music, great art, conservation, activities, demonstrations and clinics in a fun, relaxed and festive atmosphere.

There were a group of volunteers that made the event run smoothly. Positive feedback from attendees and vendors almost always mentioned the volunteers as one of the key factors in their enjoyment of the day.

Already there is increased awareness of the dynamic, living coast and the Space Coast reef as a result of the ORBFEST.

Primary sponsors of the event were: Pure Ocean TV, Anglers for Conservation and Surfrider Foundation's Sebastian Inlet Chapter.

For more information, visit www.anglersforconservation.org, call (321) 750-3374 or donate to: Anglers For Conservation, P.O. Box 372423, Satellite Beach, FL, 32937.

High-resolution field maps generated from moon

Twin NASA probes orbiting the moon have generated the highest resolution gravity field map of any celestial body.

The new map, created by the Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory mission, is allowing scientists to learn about the moon's internal structure and composition in detail.

Data from the two washing machine-size spacecraft also will provide a better understanding of how Earth and other rocky planets in the solar system formed and evolved.

The gravity field map reveals an abundance of features never before seen in detail, such as tectonic structures, volcanic landforms, basin rings, crater central peaks and numerous simple, bowl-shaped craters.

Data also show the moon's gravity field is unlike that of any terrestrial planet in the solar system.

For more information, visit www.nasa.gov.

New satellite reveals planet at night

Scientists have unveiled an unprecedented new look of the planet at night.

A global composite image, constructed using cloud-free night images from a new NASA and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration satellite, shows the glow of natural and human-built phenomena across the planet in greater detail than ever before.

Many satellites are equipped to look at Earth during the day, when they can observe the planet fully illuminated by the sun. With a new sensor onboard the NASA-NOAA Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership satellite launched last year, scientists now can observe Earth's atmosphere and surface during nighttime hours.

For more information, visit www.nasa.gov or www.noah.gov.

Scholarship available

Oceanside Charter Chapter of the American Business Women's Association is offering a $2,000 scholarship to a deserving area student.

Each year, local chapters of ABWA provide Stephen Bufton memorial scholarships to female students who will be attending accredited United States colleges, universities and community/vocational schools.

Applicants must be citizens of the United States, residents of Brevard  County and attending college in August 2013 with a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale.

Eligible women interested in applying for the scholarship should contact Anita Carbone at acarbone@cfl.rr.com.

  Applications can be found at www.sbmef.org. and must be completed by March 29.

Wood bat baseball league to start

A Brevard County winter wood bat baseball division will start Sunday, Jan. 22 and run through March 15. The team fee is $1,285 payable to Brevard County Parks & Recreation.

For more information, contact Troy Cox, recreation coordinator-athletics, Brevard County Parks & Recreation South Area, 1515 Sarno Road; building A. Melbourne, call (321) 255-4400, fax (321) 255-4422 or email troy.cox@brevardparks.com or visit www.brevardcounty.us/south.

Deadline approaches for admission to academy

The Brevard Community College's basic law enforcement academy at the Institute of Public Safety is scheduled to start on Feb. 25.

Those wishing to be considered for admission to the academy must complete all eligibility testing and screening requirements by Jan. 24.

For more information, contact Nann Dragonette at (321) 433-5638 or email dragonetten@brevardcc.edu.

Keeping teens safe on road

The Brevard County Sheriff's Office has partnered with Brevard County State Farm insurance agents supporting the "Celebrate My Drive" initiative to keep teens safe on the road.

State Farm has awarded the sheriff's office a $2,500 grant associated with the campaign, in support of the sheriff's office teen driver education and safety programs.

The Brevard County Sheriff's Office offers the teen driver challenge, Brevard STOPPED and sheriff's driving simulators to local teens to promote driver education, awareness and hands-on driver training.

Throughout Florida, State Farm has funded more than $50,000 in similar grants.

Additional information about the sheriff's office teen driving programs can be obtained at www.BrevardSheriff.com (click teen driving programs) or by email at TeenDriver@bcso.us.

Mission awarded grant

Brevard Rescue Mission, which provides transitional housing and support services for homeless women with children, was recently awarded a $3,500 grant from the Margaret Binz Foundation.

The funding will be used to support the "A Fresh Start "project, which will supply all paper and hygiene supplies, toiletries, cleaning supplies, basic first aid necessities and over-the-counter medications for six months, for families participating in the program.

Brevard Rescue Mission is privately funded by donations from individuals, civic organizations, foundations, churches and area businesses.

The mission provides housing, education, transportation, counseling, medical care, parent training, household budgeting, tutoring, job training, food and clothing and case-manager support services.

Call (321) 480-9100 or visit www.BrevardRescueMission.org for more information. 

'King,' 'queen' crowned

A basset hound owned by Debbie Wood of Port St. Lucie was chosen king of the park and his queen was Darla, a chihuahua owned by Suzanne Leichtling of Cape Canaveral, at the Central Brevard Humane Society's 10th annual Paws in the Park at the Wickham Park Main Pavilion in Melbourne.

Several hundred people attended the event.

Other awards presented were pet/companion look-alike," awarded to Callie Lou, a border collie/Australian shepherd mix, owned by Cindy Derouen of Cocoa.

Best pet trick went to Sadie, an Australian shepherd, owned by Becky Street of Indialantic. Panzer, a Rottweiler, owned by Ellen and Del Fox of Cocoa, was the winner of the "Jingle Bell Rock" costume contest.

This fun, interactive pet fundraiser included a pooch parade dog walk around the pavilion area, educational and rescue group booths, animal-related vendors and pet contests.

Event sponsors included: Hometown News, AT&T The Real Yellow Pages, Florida Today, Southeastern Honda, Animal Emergency & Critical Care Center of Brevard, Ash Dermatology & Skin Cancer Center, Beach Animal Hospital, BJ's Wholesale Club, VeinCare of Brevard and sthorpe.com.

For more information, contact the Central Brevard Humane Society at (321) 636-3343 or visit www.crittersavers.com.

Register for technology programs

Brevard Community College is opening registration for three new technology programs as BCC expands areas of study in rapidly expanding job fields.

The programs are cyber security, engineering technology support specialist and 911 public safety telecommunications operator.

The cyber security and engineering technology support specialist programs will be offered for the first time in the 2013 spring term, which begins Jan. 14. The 911 operator program will be launched in February. Students can earn an associate in science degree in cyber security, which includes coursework leading to preparation for the following industry credentials: CompTIA A+; CompTIA network+; CompTIA security+; Cisco certified networking associate; Cisco certified network associate security and Microsoft office systems bundle.

The engineering technology support specialist is a 20-credit hour certificate program that can lead to an associate of science degree in engineering technology.

The program allows graduates to work in areas such as engineering design, manufacturing, processes and production, and testing and maintaining product quality.

The 911 public safety telecommunications operator is an eight vocational credit certificate program.

Successful completion will allow graduates to take the Florida Department of Health exam, which is required to receive a state license to serve as a 911 operator.

For more information, contact Ashley Becker, career and technical programs specialist, at (321) 433-7742 or becketa@brevardcc.edu.

For information, contact 911 program coordinator Tonia Graham at (321) 433-5695 or grahamt@brevardcc.edu.

Next step completed to launch astronauts from home soil

NASA has announced the next step in its plan to launch American astronauts from U.S. soil, selecting three companies to conduct activities under contracts that will enable future certification of commercial spacecraft as safe to carry humans to the International Space Station.

Advances made by these companies during the first contract phase, known as the certification products contracts, will begin the process of ensuring integrated crew transportation systems will meet agency safety requirements and standards to launch American astronauts to the International Space Station from the United States, ending the agency's reliance on Russia for these transportation services.

The second phase of certification will result in a separately competed contract.

The second, expected to begin in mid-2014, will involve a full and open competition. It will include the final development, testing and verifications necessary to allow crewed demonstration flights to the space station.

While NASA works with U.S. industry partners to develop these capabilities, the agency also is developing the Orion spacecraft and the Space Launch System, a crew capsule and heavy-lift rocket to provide an entirely new capability for human exploration.

For more information about NASA's Commercial Crew Program, visit www.nasa.gov/commercialcrew.

Alliance is accredited

The Brevard Health Alliance has been awarded a three-year term of accreditation, as a result of a recent survey conducted by the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care.

Included in Brevard Health Alliance's award is AAAHC medical home accreditation.

Accreditation distinguishes Brevard Health Alliance from other outpatient facilities by providing the highest quality of care to its patients as determined by the association's independent, external process of evaluation.

Ambulatory health care organizations seeking accreditation by AAAHC undergo an extensive self-assessment and on-site survey by AAAHC expert surveyors, physicians, nurses and administrators, who are actively involved in ambulatory health care.

Not all ambulatory health care organizations seek accreditation and not all that undergo the rigorous on-site survey process are granted accreditation.

Martini voted best on coast twice

The "love martini" a clear, crisp white cranberry concoction made by The Melting Pot in Viera, was the winner for the second year in a row in the Melbourne regional chamber's best martini on the Melbourne Coast competition.

The honor was bestowed on the restaurant at the recent "Martini & Mistletoe" event, sponsored by Twin Rivers Insurance and held at Rosner Chevrolet in Melbourne.

The drink also captured the title last year in people's-choice voting.

Fifteen bars and restaurants were vying for the title, which was sponsored by Florida Today.

Also competing were: Crowne Plaza Melbourne Oceanfront with the dark and fluffy marshmallow martini; Rendezvous Restaurant (Holiday Inn Viera) with the flor-ange martini; Outback Steakhouse with the gingerbread martini; The Broken Barrel Tavern with mint chocolate chip;" Atlantic Blue Beach Bar (Hilton Melbourne Beach) with lemon frost; Uno Chicago Grill with the skinny blood orange cosmo; The Dock at River Rocks Restaurant with Santa's sunburn; Island Pasta & Calilou Tapas Bar with naughty and nice; Lafitte's (Hilton Melbourne Rialto) with Rudolph's red nose; Neptune's Bar and Grill with the Greek goddess; Runaway Country Music Festival/ Grills Riverside Seafood Restaurant with Runaway's just a kiss; Longhorn Steakhouse with the goldrush" martini and Victory Casino Cruise Lines with Kirby's blue martini.

Best-decorated bar honors went to Lafitte's at the Hilton Melbourne Rialto.

About 300 attendees voted for their favorites at the event, which ran from 6-9 p.m. Winning bars each got a $250 cash prize and the best martini winner was given a plaque to display acknowledging their win.

The event featured a buffet, dessert bar and live DJ. Ashes Cigar Tavern offered a special smoking area, and discounted rides home were provided by Hollywood Limousine and Taxi.

College rowing coach, team recognized

Florida Tech head coach Jim Granger received the Joy of Sculling's College Coaches award for the 2012 season at the organization's annual conference recently.

University of Virginia head coach Frank Biller presented the award to the Panthers' sixth-year coach in front of approximately 300 coaches.

Coach Biller, who has more than 20 years of rowing experience, won the award last season.

Under Coach Granger's guidance, FIT's men's varsity eight has won the Southern Intercollegiate Rowing Association Championship three times. When the Panthers hoisted the trophy in 2009, it marked the first time they had won the event in 17 years.

Their success has carried over to the prestigious Aberdeen Dad Vail Regatta. In the last three seasons, the varsity eight has raced to two second-place finishes and a third-place finish.

Last season, FIT came in second by a mere 34-hundredths of a second to defending champion University of Michigan.

The Panthers were invited to compete in the world- renowned Henley Royal Regatta for the first time since 1996, following the 2010 Dad Vail Regatta.

On the historic River Thames, they went up against the likes of Cambridge University and Yale University.

FIT will begin its spring schedule in March.

 For more information, call (321) 674-8250.

General inducted into alumni society, writes book

Lt.  Gen. Clarence McKnight, retired U.S. Army general, was inducted into the Distinguished Alumni Society at the U.S. Army War College in Carlisle, Penn., on Tuesday, Dec. 11.

The award rendered to graduates of the War College for their work following military service, was for his work in civilian education centering on the use of computer technology in the classroom.

General McKnight became a prominent leader in digitalization during his military service and carried that knowledge into education.

His military career spanning the Korean Conflict to Desert Storm is chronicled in his forthcoming book "From Pigeons to Tweets."

A graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, and the University of Michigan Graduate School of Engineering, Gen. McKnight is also a Distinguished Graduate of West Point who rose to command the Army's Signal Corps and  introduced computer directed warfare during Desert Storm. He concluded his career as Director of Command, Control and Communications Systems for the Joint Chiefs of Staff in Washington D.C.

Gen. McKnight is a native of Memphis, Tenn., and currently resides in the Capital District.

His book, "From Pigeons to Tweets," will be published by the History Publishing Company on Jan. 14.

For more information, contact Don Bracken, History Publishing Company LLC, at djb@historypublishingco.com.

Agency named in 'best place to work' survey

NASA was named the best place to work in the federal government, among large agencies in a survey recently released by the Partnership for Public Service, a nonprofit, non-partisan organization.

This ranking, which reflects NASA's highest results since the index was developed, makes clear that the agency's workforce is focused on carrying out the nation's new and ambitious space program.

The rankings are based on responses from nearly 700,000 federal workers. The Best Places to Work rankings are based on data from the Office of Personnel Management's annual Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey, conducted from April through June 2012 and additional survey data from nine agencies, plus the Intelligence Community.

This is the seventh edition of the Best Places to Work rankings since the first in 2003.

NASA's Stennis Space Center was ranked second in the sub-agency component category.

For more about NASA, visit http://www.nasa.gov.

Congressman appointed to space committee

Congressman Bill Posey (R-Rockledge) has been appointed to the House Science, Space and Technology Committee, which has jurisdiction over NASA, space exploration, aerospace, energy research and development and marine research.

Congressman Posey's newly redrawn Congressional District 8 now includes the Kennedy Space Center and is home to the many of the nation's leading aerospace firms and research facilities.

As a young man, Bill Posey worked on the nation's Apollo Space Program until being laid-off with thousands of other space workers, following the successful Moon landing in 1969.

Having lived much of his childhood and all of his adult life in Brevard County, he has remained an active leader in space policy for many years, serving as a member of the Florida Space Authority Board of Supervisors, the Florida Commercial Space Finance Corporation and as a member of the Board of Directors for Space Florida.

In Congress, Posey has worked across the aisle to introduce legislation to strengthen America's space program. He was the lead sponsor of the American Space Access Act, a bipartisan bill to close the space gap between the Shuttle and Constellation program, the REAL Space Act, bipartisan legislation directing NASA to plan a return to the Moon, and the Race for Space Act, which passed the House last May.

Congressman Posey is also a prime co-sponsor of the Space Leadership Preservation Act, legislation to create a longer term for the NASA administrator to insulate the agency from political changes and to ensure that our nation's long-term space programs have the continuity that is needed to see them through to completion.

For more information, call (202) 225-3671 or visit www.posey.house.gov.

Fly in a vintage plane

The Valiant Air Command has announced that one of its most venerable warbirds is now flying in the local area; the C-47 "TiCo Belle." From the Normandy invasion to Cherbourg, to Arnhem, to Bastogne, to the Berlin Airlift and more, this aircraft was there, more than 65 years ago.

Now, you can experience all this history as a special and unique present for yourself, or someone you love.

Email vacwarbirds@bellsouth.net for more information, or to get on a reserve list to schedule a flight schedule.

When the Tico Belle flies, with you aboard - complete with Normandy invasion identification stripes - you will be able to look out and truly imagine what it must have been like on that fateful June 6, 1944, a day when the freedom of a world hung in the balance as she made her way in the pre-dawn darkness towards the beaches of Normandy; part of the largest aerial invasion armada the world has ever seen.

The Valiant Air Command Museum is located at the Space Coast Regional Airport at 6600 Tico Road, in Titusville.

For more information, visit www.vacwarbirds.org or call (321) 268-1941.

Order sea oats today

It is time again to pre-purchase sea oats for dune planting, through the annual sea oats sale, offered by Brevard County's Natural Resources Management Office and Keep Brevard Beautiful Inc.

Liner size sea oats are for sale in trays of 96 for $48, while supplies last.

Quantities may be limited this year, so order early. Sea oats must be ordered and paid for by Friday, Feb. 1, and will be available for pickup on Saturday, Feb. 9.

Sea oats are native to Brevard's coastal communities and stabilize sand quickly by developing an extensive root and rhizome system that holds onto sand and slows erosion. Sea oats also have the ability to build dunes, as the grassy foliage and tall seed plumes trap windblown sand, which builds up at the plant base and stimulates the plants to grow taller.

The dunes that are formed are an important feature of our coastal ecosystem, as they provide habitat for wildlife and protect upland property during wind and storm events.

For more information, call Paula Berntson at (321) 633-2016, Ext. 52431, email paula.berntson@brevardcounty.us or visit http://ww3.brevardcounty.us/natres/documents/2013_sea_oats_info_and_order_form.pdf.

Speech contests planned

Can your high school daughter or son talk for 4-6 minutes? Would they like the chance to earn more than $4,000 in cash?

The National Management Association is sponsoring the American Enterprise Speech Contest.

The first level of competition is February through March, and the second level is in April.

Any student in Brevard County in grades ninth-12th is eligible to participate.

The primary purpose of the contest is to promote and strengthen leadership skills in our leaders of tomorrow, by involving youth in research, writing and delivering a speech on that subject.

Also, the contest enhances the development of communication skills that are vital to those entering the workforce. The financial rewards are an additional boost to the winning students to achieving their dreams.

Four different chapter contests will be conducted in February through March. Students can only compete in one.

Winners of those competitions will complete at the council level in April.

The winner of that competition will win a trip to compete in the east area competition sometime in May or June.

The winner of the area contest will win a trip to compete in the national contest in September.

Those interested in competing must start eligibility process by Jan. 25.

Contest rules and information can be found at http://nma1.org/Speech_Contest/Speech_Contest.html.

For more information or to get applications to start eligibility, contact Violet Smith at violet.e.smith@lmco.com or call (321) 853-5550.

- For Hometown News




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