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Federal Employees News Digest : Feb. 18, 2013
INSIGHT by Mike Causey continued from page 1 Kristi Dougherty General Manager Phil Piemonte Managing Editor Sherkiya Wedgeworth Online Managing Editor Becky Fenton Circulation Manager Nathan Abse Writer Mike Causey Columnist Edward Zurndorfer Columnist Published by 1105 Government Information Group, Anne Armstrong, President. 1105 Government Information Group is part of 1105 Media, Inc. Neal Vitale, CEO. Corporate Headquarters: 1105 Media, Inc. 9201 Oakdale Ave., Suite 101, Chatsworth, CA 91311 www.1105media.com Office: 8609 Westwood Center Drive, Suite 500 Vienna, VA 22182-2215 Phone: Editorial: (703) 891-8554 Subscriptions: (800) 989-3363 Fax: (703) 876-5130 Internet: www.FederalDaily.com Subscription Rates: 1 year---$99 Site Licenses are available: E-mail: FENDsitelicense@ FederalDaily.com For single article reprints (in minimum quantities of 250-500), e-prints, plaques and posters contact: PARS International Phone: (212) 221-9595 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org www.magreprints.com/QuickQuote.asp The Comptroller General has ruled that federal agen- cies and departments may buy Federal Employees News Digest publications with government funds. This decision is No. B-185591. Federal Tax ID 20-4583700. DUNS #612031414. FEDERAL EMPLOYEES NEWS DIGEST (ISSN 1065-0970) is published weekly except first week in January and last week in December by 1105 Media, Inc., 9201 Oakdale Avenue, Suite 101, Chatsworth, CA 91311. Annual subscription rate is: US $99. Subscription inquiries and customer service: Mail to: Federal Employees News Digest, PO Box 15428, N. Hollywood, CA 91615-5428, customerservice@feder- aldaily.com or call (800) 989-3363, fax (818) 487-4550. © Copyright 2013 by 1105 Media, Inc. All rights reserved. Reproductions or distribution in whole or part prohibited except by site license or reprint purchase. The information in this newsletter has not undergone any formal testing by 1105 Media, Inc. and is dis- tributed without any warranty expressed or implied. Implementation or use of any information contained herein is the reader's sole responsibility. While the information has been reviewed for accuracy, there is no guarantee that the same or similar results may be achieved in all environments. Technical inaccuracies may result from printing errors and/or new develop- ments in the industry. This publication's subscriber list, as well as other lists from 1105 Media, Inc., is available for rental. For more information, please contact our list manager, Merit Direct. Phone: (914) 368-1000; E-mail: 1105media@ meritdirect.com; Web: www.meritdirect.com/1105. February 18, 2013 Vol. 62, No. 29 2 Visit us on the Internet at www.FederalDaily.com At the time, I wrote the federal column for the paper, so I got to stay in and stay warm. I told the bosses I needed to monitor what the government was saying and doing about the tragedy. Nothing like it had ever happened here. The midday crash was com- pounded because the government had just released employees to go home early because of the ice and snow. The bridge was jammed with heavier-than-normal traffic when the plane hit. One of the decisions that emerged from the disaster was not to release employees early. That policy lasted for about 20 years. The media were all over the story. A big part of that story was when a Mississippi-born guy became a hero. At the time, he was a fed working for the Congressional Budget Office. He had gotten off work, crossed the bridge into Virginia and like lots of other stranded motorists watched in horror. His name was Lenny Skutnik. Mr. Skutnik and several others spotted a woman---one of the few surviving passengers---in the icy Potomac. Unlike the others, who simply watched, he jumped in. He swam to her and brought her back to shore. She was one of the five survivors. That night the TV networks (this was in the days when four network channels dominated and everybody watched the evening news) led with the Air Florida crash. Most had film footage of the brave fed who became a national hero. At the end of one newscast, which I happened to be watching, the anchor said of Skutnik's actions: "Not bad for a government worker!" I thought it an odd ending, but didn't think any more about it. Next day, at about 10 a.m., I got a call from a TV network in New York. They wanted to talk to me. I thought my big break had come. No more ink-stained wretch stuff. I was going big-time. Forty-dollar haircuts, etc. Alas, it was not to be. Instead, they had called to talk to me about the several thou- sand phone calls the network had received from angry federal workers---workers who had called the network to complain about the "not bad for a government worker" remark at the end of the newscast. The network said they either would fly me to New York, or they would come to D.C. I was stunned, but had the presence of mind to ask them to come to my office in D.C. Short version: They did, and the anchor, his producer and I had lunch. They were genuinely stunned that federal workers were "so touchy." So human. We talked, ate and they took notes. They flew back to New York City wiser (I thought) and defi- nitely sadder. Two nights later, the same net- work aired a piece about the Bureau of Engraving and Printing. Where they make the money. The reporter ended the segment with the line "this is one job the government paper pushers take seriously!" Some people never learn. And some things never change.
Feb. 11, 2013
Feb. 25, 2013