-- Beer and spirit pairing dinner: 7 p.m. Friday, July 12,Arsenal Island Golf Clubhouse.Enjoy samples of craft brews from Great River Brewery and spirits from Irish Dog Bloody Mary Mix and Mississippi River Distillery that have been carefully selected to complement and enhance the fine cuisine prepared by our executive chef. Cost is $50. Call 309-782-4372 to make a reservation. -- Bus trip to Taste of Chicago Festival: Departing from Quad-Cities 6:30 a.m. July 13, from the Col. Davenport Pavilion at the Arsenal, and returning from Chicago at 5 p.m. July 13.Cost is $41 per person and includes round-trip transportation only. Call 309-782-5890 to make a reservation. The flier is available at goo.gl/OWyI4 --Arsenal Island Golf Course Summer Scramble Golf Tournament: 8:30 a.m. July 19. Costfor this four-person best-ball tournament is $65 per player ($50 for annual pass holders), and it includes golf, cart, lunch and prizes. Call 309-793-1604 to sign up. Advance registration and payment are recommended to ensure your spot. The flier is available at goo.gl/Hnz2c
Journey to Leadership participants graduate
Upholding the motto of "Preparing Tomorrow's Leaders Today," 16 people graduated with the confidence of bigger and better things in their future in a ceremony sponsored by the Army Sustainment Command at the Rock Island Arsenal on June 7. The ceremony concluded an eight-month program, "Journey to Leadership Tier II." All but three enrollees were from the Arsenal. The others came from the 403rd Army Field Support Battalion-Northeast Asia, Camp Carroll, South Korea; Army Security Assistance Command, New Cumberland, Pa.; and 404th Army Field Support Battalion-Lewis, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. Other participants included those in ASC, Army Joint Munitions Command, Army Joint Manufacturing and Technology Center and the Army Edgewood Chemical and Biological Center. JTL is a leadership development program created by ASC to select and develop a cadre of high potential employees available to fill key positions as they become vacant in the future. This development program includes participation in command-endorsed team projects and a variety of training and educational experiences. The program was designed to address the mission, as well as current and future challenges of ASC and other government organizations. It provides solid training and development foundation of leadership skills and team building that are enhanced by developmental experiences. JTL gives participants an overview of their strengths and an opportunity to build on their weaknesses through opportunities and exposure with other organizations. There are three tiers to the program. Tier I is for entry-level employees, Tier II is for mid-level employees and journeyman positions and Tier III is for supervisors and managers. The benefits of JTL include a better understanding of the ASC and other organizations' missions, one-on-one contact with senior leaders, personalized coaching, and networking opportunities. As a result of this program, graduates gain knowledge and experience to help them qualify for advancement in their careers. ASC, in turn, gains competent and well-equipped leaders. Participants engage in classroom training, group exercises, learning teams, reading assignments, developmental assignments, cross-training assignments, executive interviews, and shadowing assignments. Lisa Schuldt is the ASC JTL program team leader, and Julie Wildermuth is the ASC JTL II program manager. The current contract facilitator for JTL Tier II is Priority Executive Development LLC, based in Bettendorf. The training facilitators were Catherine Schade and Irene Loftus. The new JTL Tier II graduates are: Sgt. 1st Class Larry Burden, ASC; Brooke Crippen, JMC; Cynthia Decker, SAC; Sandra Earhart, ECBC; Heather Elam, JMTC; Darryl Howlett, JMC; Colin James, ASC; Olga Jennings, ECBC; Charlotte Kizer, 403rd AFSB-NEA; Andrew Mack, ASC; Nichol Nichols, JMTC; Linda Noe, ASC; Kelly Porschke, JMC; Karen Watts, 404th AFSB; Marvin Wink, ECBC; and Amy Wuthrich, ECBC. -- Submitted byJon Micheal Connor, Army Sustainment CommandPublic Affairs
ACC staff sergeant honored
Staff Sgt. Patricia L. Faris, a contract specialist with Army Contracting Command-Rock Island, is presented with an ACC-RI executive director's coin on June 11. Col. John P. Hannon, ACC-RI acting executive director, presented Faris with the coin because of her efforts in cleaning up Paperless Contract Folder (PCF) closeouts.
Coralville Lake prevents flood damages
During the recent heavy rain in the Iowa River basin, Coralville Lake outflows were regulated to help lower river levels and minimize flooding in communities on the Iowa and Mississippi rivers. The reduced river levels resulting from the operation of Coralville Lake prevented more than $105 million in additional flood damages to downstream areas. Inflows to Coralville Lake peaked at 40,000 cubic feet per second June 1, while the maximum outflow was held at 18,400 cubic feet per second. Storing floodwaters and reducing outflows lowered the Iowa River by approximately 6.2 feet in Iowa City; 3.8 feet in Lone Tree, Iowa; and nearly half a foot at Quincy, Ill., on the Mississippi River. Coralville Lake peaked at 708.44 feet June 5, using 80 percent of its available flood storage. The lake is currently at 701 feet, using 43 percent of its available flood storage. Coralville Lake was built and is maintained by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Rock Island District, and is operated as a multi-purpose reservoir. The primary purpose authorized by Congress is flood risk reduction for areas below the reservoir. Other purposes include recreation and conservation. Coralville also maintains a conservation summer pool to augment low flows during drought and an additional fall pool rise to accommodate migrating bird species. For more information about Coralville Reservoir, visit mvr.usace.army.mil/About/Offices/EmergencyManagement/2013Flood/FloodForecastsataGlance/Reservoirs.aspx. -- Submitted by Ron Fournier, Corporate Communications Office, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Engineer finds balance between work and play
Finding a balance between work and play can be difficult at times but also rewarding. For one employee of the Rock Island District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, that balance comes from being very involved in the community and also taking on projects at work. Anthony Heddlesten joined the Rock Island District in January 2008 after graduating from the University of Wisconsin in Madison with a degree in civil and environmental engineering. During college, he worked as a land-conservation engineer with Chippewa County and as a water- treatment engineer with Strand Associates in Madison. "I got to experience both the private and public sector of engineering," Mr. Heddlesten said. "It really helped me decide what I wanted to do after college." He chose the public sector of engineering as a way to better serve the community. "I'm not in it just for the money. I also wanted a life outside of work -- I didn't want to be putting in 60-plus hours of work each week like many do in the private sector," he said. He came on board with the Corps through the Army Career Intern program and was able to rotate through the various district offices to get a better understanding of their functions. He also established a rotation at the Engineer Research and Development Center, something that now others can benefit from. "I set up a month-long rotation at ERDC -- this was the first time that anyone had done an internship with them. Many other interns also took advantage of this during their rotations," Mr. Heddlesten said. Upon graduation from the intern program, Mr. Heddlesten joined the Environmental Engineering Section of Design Branch as a project engineer. He works closely with the project manager to complete projects and ensure the rest of the team is moving forward. He also does some of the design work and coordinates with other team members. "As a project engineer, I get to work with so many different groups of people from many different departments. I also get to meet with sponsors and present material to local organizations and groups. Not everyone gets the opportunity to do that," he said. A couple of his current assignments arethe 408 permits for the Red Rock Hydropower Project and the Illinois River Basin Restoration Program. "Not a lot of people can say they are building an island or working on a hydropower plant that can power an entire county in Iowa," he said about why he likes his job. Mr. Heddlesten is the president of the Rock Island District Welfare Association, which plans Corps Day and other events and activities for District employees. "It's very rewarding but can also be frustrating to find things that everyone likes," he said. "I would love to see more people get involved in RIDWA and volunteer some of their time for the good of the District." When not at work, Mr. Heddlesten is active in his community. He lives in a historic house in the Broadway District of Rock Island. He and his wife, Kyla, have been busy restoring the house and upgrading it to be more energy efficient -- another passion of his. "My energy bill used to average $227 a month, and we have reduced it to $154," he said. "Pretty much everything in my house has an Energy Star on it -- from the windows to the appliances to the lights." To reduce his bill even more, he recently installed an environmentally friendly roof. Mr. Heddlesten regularly walks to work and uses public transportation as much as possible to reduce his carbon footprint. Some of his other hobbies include camping, biking, woodworking, model railroading and homebrewing. "My dad and I built a coffee table with a model train inside it from cherry wood my grandfather harvested from the land I grew up on in Minnesota," Mr. Heddlesten said. You can see several of the items he and his father built at his desk in the annex. Community involvement is another passion. His most recent endeavor was running for 5th Ward alderman in Rock Island. He is also active with the Broadway Historic District and Neighborhood Partners, volunteering his time for the betterment of the community. When asked about advice, he shared what he lives by: "Take every opportunity that anyone gives you -- you never know where it many lead you. Nobody ever wished they had spent more time sitting around twiddling their thumbs. You also have to find a good balance between work and play; again, nobody ever wished they spent more time at work rather than going fishing, hiking or spending time with family." -- Submitted byHilary Markin, public affairs specialist, Rock Island District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Flights honor WWII, Korean War vets
World War II and Korean War veterans visited Washington, D.C., on May 23 during a free one-day trip provided by the Honor Flight of the Quad-Cities to recognize their sacrifice and service to the nation. "The Quad-Cities supports their veterans," said Bob Morrison, hub director of HFQC, development and marketing director for Ridgecrest Village. "I value so much what veterans do for our country, but I feel they are not getting nearly the respect that they should. The great thing about the Honor Flight is that I am not the only one who thinks that way." Honor Flight was established in May 2005, when six planes flew 12 World War II veterans to visit the World War II Memorial in Washington. The program was designed to provide a free flight to veterans who meet specific criteria, with health being one of the major factors. The program flew 105 veterans in the first year. "Bill Shore, a World War II veteran, came to me and asked if the Honor Flight was a creditable organization," Mr. Morrison said. "At that time, I had never heard of the program. Therefore, I researched and contacted their headquarters in Springfield, Ohio. I talked to retired Air Force Capt. Earl Morse, who started the Honor Flight program. When I asked Morse if the program was creditable, he told me to ask Sen. Bob Dole, because he was involved. I knew it had to be creditable if the senator was involved. "I then called the St. Louis, Mo., hub and told them I had 42 veterans who were interested in taking the Honor Flight," Mr. Morrison said. "They told me their waiting list was over 9,000 people, and I replied, 'Some of these veterans are in their 80s and 90s and may not make the wait.' St. Louis replied, 'Start your own hub, then,' so I did." "I put together a team, and the CEO of the Quad City International Airport assigned his top person and his marketing director to the board," Mr. Morrison said. The HFQC board was established in spring 2008 and planned to start the flights in April 2009. However, because of the outpouring of support for the program and the number of veterans interested in attending, the first flight was pushed up to November 2008. "We had five flights in 2009 and eight flights in 2010," Mr. Morrison said. "We tried to get as many flights as possible, because we are losing our WWII veterans at a rapid pace." When the numbers of World War II veterans on the flights dwindled, the board opened the flights to Korean War veterans. Vietnam veterans are not currently included in the flights, but they serve as guardians, Mr. Morrison said. "Last year, we did four flights, and this year, we are planning five flights, with the next flight in August," Mr. Morrison said. Preparations for a flight begin two months in advance, Mr. Morrison said."At this time, we coordinate the details and have an orientation with the guardians and veterans. They have a chance to meet each other and then we lay out what is going to happen. The biggest thing the guardians have to understand is the trip is not about them, it is about the veterans. The guardians have to be vigilant all day to prevent mishaps. It is an honor for them, and they realize that. The guardians pay $500 for the privilege of escorting the veterans to see their memorials in Washington, D.C." He said 91 veterans have flown this year. "We have about 15 schools in Illinois and Iowa that write letters to our veterans," Mr. Morrison said. "This is something that we do not tell our veterans ahead of time. On the plane, we have assigned seating for everyone, and we have packets of letters for all the veterans on the plane. We then have our bus captains call out a veteran's name, and give them their packet of letters. Some veterans, after reading the letters, want to go to the schools and talk to the children who wrote them. This has happened multiple times." "On our 15th flight, the head of the Transportation Security Administration witnessed the veterans going through the security checkpoints, following the security protocols that his agency set," Mr. Morrison said. "He recognized the inconvenience that these protocols were causing our older veterans. Now, the Honor Flights submit the names of those taking the flights and those on standby to the TSA, and they are cleared before they arrive. This accommodation by the TSA allows the HFQC to add an hour of time to their itinerary." The first destination is the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum's Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, which is the home of the Space Shuttle Discovery and the Enola Gay. Other stops are the World War IIMemorial,the Air Force Memorial, the Pentagon Memorial, the Iwo Jima Memorial, the Women in Military Service for America Memorial, and Arlington National Cemetery. The group then returns to the buses for a meal, then proceeds to the Korean War Veterans, Vietnam War Veterans and Lincoln memorials, Mr. Morrison said. "The whole day is very emotional," he said. After their return to the Quad-Cities airport, the veterans form a processional and walk toward security to go home after a long and fulfilling day. What happens next brings many to tears. Family, friends, service members, and members of the community pack the airport to capacity, forming two lines. As the veterans pass through security, they hear the sounds of a bagpiper, then see the flags held by the honor guard and the cheering and clapping of hundreds of people welcoming them home. For some, this is the first time. "For many veterans, when they came back to the United States, there was no welcoming committee or parades, just a bus ticket or a taxi ride home," Mr. Morrison said. "I never had such a good feeling as I do about the Honor Flight program," he said. "This is the best I ever felt about something; it is the right thing to do. It is helping families immensely. Family members often ask me, 'What did you do to my grandparent -- they seem 10 years younger than before they left?' The veterans are more willing to talk about their experiences in the war after the flight." The flights are paid for by donations from individuals, businesses and organizations in the local community. Other organizations donate time and necessary items, such as meals and water. "More than $2.3 million dollars was donated to the HFQC to make the flights possible," said Mr. Morrison. "Many individuals, organizations and volunteers make the HFQC possible. The board concentrates on the veterans and not on fundraising. This choice empowered the community to support what we are doing, and it is working very well. The Q-C community deserves credit for supporting the Honor Flights." Information about the Honor Flight is located at honorflight.org and honorflightqc.com. -- Submitted by Anthony R. Mayne, Public Affairs, USAG-Rock Island Arsenal Public Affairs
Ghost of the Mountainfinds home at Niabi Zoo
Conservation of snow leopards and other endangered species is one of the lessons Niabi Zoo has provided the Quad-Cities community for the last 50 years. "Conserve. Educate. Preserve," said Sharon Freedman, assistant director of education and conservation research at the zoo. "That is our major mission here. We consider ourselves a conservation facility that provides family entertainment." "Niabi Zoo has military family appreciation days to honor the military families, with service members locally or on duty elsewhere in the world," Ms. Freedman said. "We are able to offer them a special day at the zoo and ice-cream social, with our last event being a month ago. We try to do something multiple times a year to support the Arsenal and its residents." "Normally, when people ask about the difficulty in keeping animals in the Midwest, the discussion centers on weather and keeping them warm," Ms. Freedman said. "This is one of the rare animals that the situation is reversed. Our snow leopard is quite comfortable with Midwestern winters. He was outside on his platform sleeping contently and enjoying the wind, snow and cold temperatures." Snow leopards, Panthera uncia or Uncia uncia, are medium-sized cats that make their home in 12 countries in the mountainous regions of Central and Southeast Asia. Snow leopards live at the tree line and mostly in areas with rocky outcroppings, Ms. Freedman added. They prowl at altitudes between 4,000 and 22,000 feet, depending on the time of the year. "Snow leopards have amazing adaptations for their bodies," she said. "It has perfectly adapted for the environment in which it lives. The snow leopard has smoky-gray coloration with darker rosettes over the rest of its body, five-inch fur on his belly, and the greatest jumping ability of the wild cats." A snow leopard weighs between 60 and 120 pounds and has a length of between 39 and 51 inches. It has a few defining features, one of which is its tail. The cat uses its tail for balance, and the tail can stretch as long as the leopard itself. The snow leopard also uses the tail to keep its face warm while sleeping. The snow leopard has a well-developed chest; short, round ears to prevent heat loss; and an enlarged nasal cavity, which allows it to breathe more efficiently and heats the air when inhaling. It also has shorter limbs and large paws to ease its travel over snow and ice. The leopard cannot roar, but makes a variety of other sounds. "We look for species that are fascinating and a bit unusual, that promote our conservation message," Ms. Freedman said. "The snow leopards' major conservation problems come from poaching and habitat loss. This fragments and interrupts the territory the animals cover. It may not interrupt the life cycle of one animal, but may prevent it from finding a mate, and that is harmful to future generations. These are the same issues that are seen with tigers in Asia and jaguars in the rain forests." There are reports of 3,500 to 7,000 snow leopards left in the wild, but because the snow leopard it is so elusive and secretive, with a range in one of the most inhospitable places on the planet, the numbers are hard to verify. There are about 600 in zoos around the world, including Niabi. "The snow leopard is on loan from the Toronto Zoo," Ms. Freedman said. "Many larger zoos do not have snow leopards, and that shows the animal care standards are pretty high at the Niabi Zoo. The Toronto Zoo is comfortable with us housing this endangered animal." "We actively engage in conservation support with financial activities, such as the Snow Leopard Trust, as well as active breeding programs and support of highly endangered species programs," Ms. Freedman said. "When people come to the Niabi Zoo, I want them to enjoy themselves first and learn something new about the environment. I am always trying to deal with the idea that 'It is on the other side of the world, and there is nothing I can do,' but that is not true. We can do things right here that can have an effect everywhere." The Snow Leopard Trust is a nonprofit organization that operates in five of the 12 countries in which snow leopards are found. Its mission is to build community partnerships by using sound science to determine priorities for protecting the endangered snow leopard. The Snow Leopard Trust is one of the charities that participate in the Combined Federal Campaign at the Arsenal. The CFC is the world's largest and most successful annual workplace charity campaign. It raises millions every year to promote and support philanthropy through a program that provides an opportunity for federal military, postal and civilian employees to improve the quality of life for all. More information on the CFC, Niabi Zoo and the Snow Leopard Trust is located on these websites: opm.gov/combined-federal-campaign/, niabizoo.com, and snowleopard.org. -- Submitted byAnthony R. Mayne, Public Affairs, USAG-Rock Island Arsenal Public Affairs
Today is Wednesday, Dec. 11, the 345th day of 2013. There are 20 days left in the year. 1863 — 150 years ago: The message of Abraham Lincoln, read in congress yesterday, is published in full in our paper today, with a new proclamation relating the terms upon which states can return to the union. 1888 — 125 years ago: An appropriation has been made by congress for the improvement of the upper Mississippi River with $200,000 set aside for the portion of the river between Keokuk and the mouth of the Illinois River. 1913 — 100 years ago: Work of remodeling First Swedish Lutheran Church at 4th Avenue and 14th Street was nearly completed. 1938 — 75 years ago: An unexplained outbreak of tularemia (rabbit fever) in the state has Illinois public health officials puzzled. Ten persons have died, and 243 are officially reported ill with the infection. 1963 — 50 years ago: A dramatic, multi-million dollar riverfront improvement project for the downtown area of Rock Island was unveiled at a meeting of 200 civic leaders at noon today. 1988 — 25 years ago: For several supporters of the Dispatch Goodfellow/Argus Santa program their donation is a year long project. Emma Pugh and Anne Persinger spent a good part of their spare time this year knitting forty pairs of mittens and slippers.