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Archive for May 14th, 2009

Jean Davidson

Jean Davidson

In today’s school environment where you’ll find a swim coach who sees children as “eye candy”… accused then acquitted of committing sexual abuse (.pdf) there comes along the real deal Jean Davidson

She is the granddaughter of Walter Davidson, one of the four founders and the first president of Harley-Davidson.  Her father, Gordon Davidson, was Vice President of Manufacturing.  Jean elected not to work at the family company, but instead dedicate her life to teaching children.  She has developed educational curriculum for all levels of teaching at both the state and local levels.

Tragedy hit the Davidson’s when Jean’s 4 year old grandson, Ryder, died in an accident that could have been prevented.  If only the child standing nearby Ryder would have known how to react or what to do.  Because of this and learning of many similar family losses, Jean developed a program called Yell and Tell.”  The program teaches young children who observe a dangerous situation how to react in a proactive way.

Yell_n_TellBesides the educational curriculums that Jean has developed, she has written four books about the personal stories of her growing up and the family stories of the HD Motor Company.  She travels extensively being a speaker at colleges, Harley-Davidson events, and educational forums.  She is a staunch supporter of charity events related to autism and can often be found riding a motorcycle to help raise money for the cause.  Recently she appeared at an event hosted by the Eureka Springs Motorcycle Club.  Jean is the mother of five children and has seven grandchildren. She has spent a number of years gathering personal family stories and old photographs to bring motorcycle enthusiasts a rare look into one of the more famous families in motorcycling history. Her books can be order HERE (.pdf).

If you want to bring the Yell and Tell program to your community more information is available on the web site.

Photo courtesy Yell and Tell and Chip Ford.

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Stimulus_PlanStimulus watching as a lifestyle is boring.  I’d rather be motorcycle riding, but none-the-less how our tax $$ get spent has reached the Northwest Harley Blog.

The blog theme isn’t changing.  There are lots of sources for stimulus-related blogging that serious government-watchers can find. However, coffee drinking colleagues down at ‘bucks’ started tracking stimulus as part of their retirement concerns and because I’ve put energy into promoting Vet’s and Veteran Motorcycle Association topics in the past, I wanted to forward this information.

Nobody does spending plans—complete with color-coded spreadsheets and embossed covers full of eagles and seals and other important looking symbols—like the U.S. military. Check this report out (.pdf).  The stimulus bill, by the way, became law on February 17, 2009. The Pentagon plan was released on March 20th, right on the deadline.

You may recall the Recovery Act includes approximately $7.4B in Defense-related appropriations, which accounts for less than 1% of the total $787B stimulus package.  In the stimulus bill, Congress allocated $2.3B in construction funds to the Department of Defense. The surprising part is what the specific provisions require: No war-fighting facilities, but rather the construction of “child development centers,” “warrior transition complexes,” hospitals, family housing, renewable-energy projects, and, in general, infrastructure for the Pentagon’s softer and earth-friendly side of the business.  In part, they are going to put soldiers and their families ahead of big-ticket technology—or at least on equal footing and the Department intends to spend this funding with unprecedented transparency and accountability. 

milcomapFor those with military experience you might agree that given all its failures to live up to soldiers and their families, and for all of its catch-22 double-speak, anyone who walks around inside the U.S. military quickly sees that it is one of the best-run bureaucracies in the federal system.  The website, www.Recovery.gov, is the main vehicle to provide everyone with the ability to monitor the progress of the recovery.  The DoD also has a website HERE, which links to Recovery.gov. 

The DoD intends to spend its funds as quickly as possible in the following categories:

  • $4.2 billion in Operation and Maintenance accounts to improve, repair, and modernize DoD facilities, including energy-related improvements  
  • $1.3 billion in military construction for hospitals  
  • $240 million in military construction for child development centers  
  • $100 million in military construction for warrior transition complexes  
  • $535 million for other military construction projects, such as housing for the troops and their families, energy conservation, and National Guard facilities 
  • $300 million to develop energy-efficient technologies  
  • $120 million for the Energy Conservation Investment Program (ECIP)  
  • $555 million for a temporary expansion of the Homeowner’s Assistance Program (HAP) benefits for private home sale losses of both DoD military and civilian personnel  
  • $15 million for DoD Inspector General oversight and audit of Recovery Act execution  

I did a quick scan (.pdf) for Northwest based projects and notice Camp Withycombe, OR will get a Storm Sewer MILCON upgrade and the Naval Air Station on Whidbey Island, WA will have a new Water Distribution System & Energy Conservation.  There are several other projects embedded into the document specific to the northwest if you have a desire for more detail.

Photo courtesy DoD and blogger Steve Coll.

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