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 email@example.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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or call (321) 853-5550.
Preparing for 'Paws in the Park'
The Central Brevard Humane Society is inviting local businesses and rescue groups to take part in its Seventh Annual Mardi Gras Paws in the Park event that will be held in conjunction with Cocoa Village Mardi Gras on Sunday, Feb. 10, from noon to 3 p.m. at Riverfront Park in historic Cocoa Village.
Sponsorship opportunities for Mardi Gras Paws in the Park are for individuals and businesses at all levels, beginning at $100 for the "Purple" sponsorship and up to $1,000 and above for the primary sponsorship, "The Big Easy."
This annual event features extensive promotion and offers a fantastic quality "bang for your buck" for sponsors - all while having exceptionally high charitable returns for the homeless animals of Brevard.
The cost for businesses to be a part of the vendor village at Mardi Gras Paws in the Park is $50. All rescue groups may participate at "no charge" (pending space availability). Vendors and rescue groups must supply their own tables, chairs, promotional materials, display racks and setup staff.
Mardi Gras Paws in the Park is a free animal and family-friendly event for pet lovers, young and the young at heart, that will include rescue groups, a vendor village, pet contests, the crowning of the "furry" "King and Queen of the Park," a demonstration from the Brevard Sheriff Department's Paws & Stripes Cadets, a Mardi Gras "Parade of Pets" and live entertainment. All animals must be on a leash and have proof of current shots along with a county tag.
For more information, contact the Central Brevard Humane Society at (321) 636-3343 or visit www.crittersavers.com.
Holiday presents and gift cards for food items, gas
Employees at the Brevard Public School's Educational Services Facilities completed its "Giving from the Heart" campaign.
Twenty-six families, with more than 60 children, were given holiday presents and food and gas gift cards.
More than $6,000 was raised through internal fundraisers, department ice-cream socials, bake sales, jewelry sales and a silent auction.
Some families also received toys and clothing.
The mission of the campaign is to make the holidays a little brighter for some who might be struggling to make ends meet.
For more information, contact Ginny Gleason at (321) 633-1000, Ext. 389.
Satellite arrives at space center
NASA's newest tracking and data relay satellite, known as TDRS-K, arrived recently at the agency's Kennedy Space Center in preparation for a Tuesday, Jan. 29 launch.
TDRS-K arrived aboard a U.S. Air Force C-17 from the Boeing Space and Intelligence Systems assembly facility in El Segundo, Calif.
For almost 30 years, the TDRS spacecraft have provided a reliable communications network for NASA, serving numerous national and international space missions.
The TDRS fleet is a space-based communication system used to provide tracking, telemetry, command and high bandwidth data return services. The satellites provide in-flight communications with spacecraft operating in low-Earth orbit. It has been 10 years since NASA's last TDRS launch.
TDRS-K will launch to geo-stationary orbit aboard an Atlas V rocket.
The spacecraft is the first of three next-generation satellites designed to ensure vital operational continuity for NASA by expanding the lifespan of the fleet
The launch of TDRS-L is scheduled for 2014 and TDRS-M in 2015.
NASA's Launch Services Program at Kennedy is responsible for launch management. United Launch Alliance provides the Atlas V rocket launch service.
To join the online conversation about TDRS on Twitter, follow the hashtag #TDRS.
To learn more about all the ways to connect and collaborate with NASA, visit http://www.nasa.gov/connect.
For more information about TDRS, visit http://tdrs.gsfc.nasa.gov/.
Rescue mission receives funds
Brevard Rescue Mission, which provides transitional housing and support services for homeless women with children, recently received $3,500 in cash and supplies from the Suntree Ladies Golf Association.
Funding will be used to support program services for the families.
Brevard Rescue Mission is privately funded by donations from individuals, civic organizations, foundations, churches and area businesses. Donated funds provide 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.
Kids club visit, sing for residents
On Sunday, Dec. 16, Knucklebones Creative Kids Club delighted senior residents of the West Melbourne Health and Rehabilitation Center with Christmas songs.
Looking like Christmas elves, club members also presented the residents with Christmas cards created by them especially for the event.
Knucklebones Creative Kids Club was designed to open a child's vision of his/her world artistically. Club members explore Brevard County by attending various venues, such as the Brevard Zoo, museums, parks, sporting events, nonprofit organizations and more.
In turn, the children create art (in an artist workshop) based on what they have experienced.
This artwork will is placed on the Knucklebones web site.
Knucklebone's mission is to offer its members the opportunity to explore, participate and create in activities, field trips and classes.
Pictures from these KCKC adventures can be seen at www.knucklebonescreativekidsclub.com. The site also features artwork created by club members, showcasing their unique talents.
Visit the website for additional information or plan to attend one of the weekly meet-and-greet sessions scheduled for the first and third Wednesday evenings of the month at 6 p.m. at McDonalds, located at the intersection of San Filippo and Malabar roads, in Palm Bay.
Seeing under the surface of the skin
MIMA Dermatology has announced that it is incorporating the groundbreaking MelaFind device into its practice, the first in Brevard County and northeast Florida.
MelaFind, developed by medical device company MELA Sciences, is a first-of-its-kind technology that is used during a skin exam to help dermatologists see under the skin's surface.
The device collects information from 2.5 millimeters deep into the skin painlessly and non-invasively using computer vision technology.
MelaFind's safety and effectiveness were proven in the largest clinical trial in melanoma detection ever conducted. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved MelaFind for use in the United States.
For more information on MelaFind, visit www.melafind.com, email anita.saluja@Mima.com or call (321) 757-5141.
On the canal boat parade
The Banana River Sail and Power Squadron had an early Christmas Eve with a christmas boat parade.
The parade, led by the Satellite Beach Marine Enforcement Boat and the Banana River Sail and Power Santa Claus boat was joined by approximately 80 decorated boats of all sizes and types.
Many of the boats not only had a light display, but also Christmas carol audios.
One very special sailboat had a music and lights coordinated display that brought those viewing to their feet with applause.
The Banana River Sail and Power Squadron thanks the city of Satellite Beach for their participation and support, past commander James Merker for captaining the Santa Claus boat, executive officer Steve Woessner for organizing the parade and David Hixenbaugh, a special friend of Santa, for bringing Santa down from the North Pole.
The Squadron thanks the wonderful boaters who volunteered their time and effort to decorate their boats for everyone's enjoyment, and all the very friendly spectators up and down the Grand Canal for their applause and shouts of Merry Christmas to all the boats as they passed.
Banana River Sail and Power Squadron wishes a Merry Christmas and the very best in the new year to the boaters and citizens of Satellite Beach all of those joined us from the sounding communities and the membership of the BRSPS. We invite all of you to join our organization and attend our classes - "Boating is Fun," and we'll show You How!
Student survey in progress
All Brevard Public School students in grades 3-12 will be taking an anonymous computer-based survey during January to find out what the children think about Brevard Public Schools.
The survey questions focus on curriculum, instruction, bullying and school safety.
There will be no personally identifiable information in the survey, according to BPS.
If you have questions or wish to see a copy of the survey, contact the school.
The results of the survey will help the school to better serve all Brevard Public School students.
Quilters donate to cancer foundation
The local chapter of the Space Coast Moonlight Quilters Guild has donated more than 30 quilts to the cancer patients of Space Coast Cancer Center.
Sandy Sanchez, a member of the chapter having family affected by cancer, lead the group in its efforts to make the donation.
Ms. Sanchez, along with quilters Myra Ducharme, Dot Morgan and Karen Lee, donated a special "Daffodils at Work" quilt for the foundation.
The quilt will be displayed at the Titusville Cancer Center.
The Moonlight Quilters Guilt just celebrated its 20th anniversary as an organization.
The patients and staff are very appreciative of the quilts donated by the local chapter.
Call (321) 268-4200, Ext. 3500 or email email@example.com for more information.
Humane Society board announced
The Central Brevard Humane Society has announced its board of directors for 2013.
Sandi Trudeau of Sunny Beach Rentals will serve as president; Robert Smith of SGT Inc., will serve as vice president; Dianne George of Brevard Nature Alliance Inc., will serve as treasurer; and Jodi Levesque (engineering consultant) will serve as secretary.
Additional members of the 2013 CBHS Board of Directors include Michelle Earltinez, Brevard Community College's Veterinary Technology Program; Dennis Gollehon, Hartung Real Estate Inc.; Sheriff-elect Wayne Ivey, Brevard County Sheriff's Office; Karen Lee (community volunteer); Cindy Perrone, Perrone Properties; Jennifer Tharpe, NASA; and Justin Ward, Lockheed Martin.
For more information about the Central Brevard Humane Society, call (321) 636-3343 or visit www.crittersavers.com.
Accreditation team invites public comments
The Commission for Florida Law Enforcement Accreditation is conducting an assessment for re-accreditation of the Division of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco's Bureau of Law Enforcement.
The CFA assessment team will examine all aspects of the bureau's policies and procedures, management, operations and support services. The re-accreditation process is voluntary and occurs every three years.
The CFA assessment team is composed of law enforcement practitioners from other Florida law enforcement agencies.
The assessors will review written materials, interview agency members and visit offices and other facilities where standards compliance can be observed.
The division is required to comply with more than 190 accreditation standards in order to maintain accredited status.
A copy of the accreditation standards may be requested by contacting the division's accreditation manager, Jennifer Jacques, at (850) 717-1111.
As part of the on-site assessment, agency members and the general public are invited to offer comments to the assessment team.
Comments must be in writing and must address the agency's ability to comply with CFA standards.
Members of the public seeking more information regarding the CFA or wishing to offer written comments about the division's ability to meet the standards of accredidation, may contact the CFA at P.O. Box 1489, Tallahassee, FL, 32302, or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Students 'fill the truck' for northern students
The staff and students at Indialantic Elementary School recently finished "Operation Fill the Truck" for the students of Monmouth Beach Elementary School on the New Jersey Shore, following the devastation during Hurricane Sandy.
The Indialantic school community wanted to make the holidays a bit brighter by sending care packages for the families living in shelters, having lost everything, including homes and their school.
For more information, email email@example.com or call school principal Richard Dunkel at (321) 723-2811.
New Year's resolutions for you
The Titusville YMCA is ready to partner with you to make positive changes that strengthen you and the North Brevard community.
Below are four resolutions determined to help you in 2013:
1. Set Specific Goals To Live Healthier - Start by stepping into the YMCA this January to meet with a wellness coach for "The Coach Approach." Participate in one of 65 weekly group exercise classes in the recently renovated Group Ex room. Join an Adult Sports League, such as tennis, racquetball, indoor soccer, volleyball or basketball. Test-drive the new treadmills, ellipticals, stair-steppers, resistance machines and spin bikes.
2. Volunteer - Volunteering provides opportunities to improve the community, meet new people and develop new relationships. At the Titusville YMCA, volunteers make a big difference in the community. The Y is currently seeking volunteers to coach youth sports or to serve on a volunteer committee. There are several unique committees to choose from based on your interests. For more information, visit the welcome desk staff.
3. Learn Something New - Step out of your comfort zone, have fun and grow by exploring personal interests. Are you interested in tennis, racquetball, Zumba, swimming, spinning or karate? These are just a few examples of beginner classes that the Titusville YMCA is providing in 2013. Try something new to build your spirit, mind and body. For class information and times, please visit with the welcome desk staff.
4. Spent more time with family and friends - Socializing in a healthy environment like the Y strengthens the well-being. It is always helpful to have a community of people you can reach out to during times of need. So, carve out time each day to connect with family and friends, and get your loved ones more involved with community organizations, such as your Titusville Y.
On behalf of the Titusville YMCA staff and board of directors, we wish you a safe, healthy, prosperous and blessed 2013.
Recycle at the beach
There are bins for glass, plastic, aluminum, cardboard and paper in the recycling area behind the David R. Schechter Community Center, 1089 S. Patrick Drive, Satellite Beach.
Inside the lobby, items that can be used by others are collected, such as eyeglasses (recycled by the Satellite Beach Lions Club), coffee mugs (recycled by the Satellite Beach Woman's Club), greeting card fronts, bottle caps (recycled by Brevard Montessori School, Satellite Beach) and cell phones for soldiers.
For a full list of recycling opportunities, visit www.satellitebeachrecreation.org.
- For Hometown News