Washington (CNN) | President Obama has tapped a former Army general to lead the Transportation Security Administration, sources have told CNN.
Obama plans to nominate Robert A. Harding, a retired major general with 33 years in the Army, to become the TSA administrator, sources said. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano will announce the nomination Monday with Harding by her side, according to one administration official.
"The TSA administrator is the most important unfilled post in the Obama administration," one administration official said. "Mr. Harding has the experience and perspective to make a real difference in carrying out the mission of the agency."
FamilyGetaway.com, a new website for value-seeking families, just launched and is offering travel packages at up to 65 percent off retail prices at places like the Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa in Koloa, Hawaii, Highmark Steamboat Springs in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, and Mount Nelson Hotel in Cape Town, South Africa.
Owned by the same company as LuxuryLink.com, FamilyGetaway.com operates in a similar manner as the popular luxury travel website by offering two purchase options:
-Auction: Those with flexible travel dates can submit bids on the package of their choice, assuring the website’s best values.
-Buy Now: For those with less flexibility, there is the Buy Now option that still offers steep discounts (often up to 50 percent off!).
Utah and its frontiers for skiing and snowboarding have long been on my list for exploration, and my recent trip there did not disappoint. In fact, I was amazed at how easy it was to get there (a non-stop from JFK to SLC on Delta plus 35 minutes in my Enterprise rental car from the airport to Park City—with no harrowing mountain pass requiring tire chains). And it was so much fun (9,026 acres of skiing; hundreds of hotels to choose from, sunny skies, and, since 2009, no more “membership” necessary to enter a bar and buy a drink). One local told me he always felt like Park City was the redheaded stepchild of the U.S. ski areas, but I think it is soon to be (if not already) one of the favorites.
Apex and Spider Monkey, The Canyons (lift ticket $85 a day)—trails here are generally fairly narrow, which made me feel immersed in nature, much like when I hike. Apex varies intermediate and advanced tilt down a thrilling ridge, and Spider Monkey bops beneath a cathedral of tall pines.
Obscura Day, “an international celebration of wondrous, curious, and esoteric places,” is March 20. Find offbeat treasures in your own hometown, or wherever you plan to be that day.
There’s something for everyone:
Tours for the science nerd
+ In Palo Alto, CA, visit one of the world’s largest working pneumatic tube systems, a 4-mile network through Stanford University Hospital that works to “shuttle specimens and paperwork around at 18 miles per hour”
+ Head to Dunedin, New Zealand to see the Beverly Clock, a 146-year old science experiment, powered solely by atmospheric changes
+ Tour Reed College’s nuclear reactor in Portland, OR (controlled by undergraduates, God help us)
+ Take a tram ride 65 stories below street level through the Kansas Underground Salt Museum built on an actively mined vein of salt that stretches from Kansas to New Mexico. (The world’s oldest organism was found here!)
+ Stroll the poison garden at Northumberland, England’s Alnwick Castle
Call me a grinch, a misanthrope, a DINK (dual-income-no-kids), or the anti-cute-police, but I hate (hate a thousand times over) ill-behaved children/infants/screaming banshees in upscale restaurants.
Upon doing some research, it turns out I’m not alone. Not only are there message boards, websites, even petitions to promote child-free dining, it turns out there’s an international social club devoted to the baby-free lifestyle.
I’m not a card carrying NoKidding member yet, but for now I plan on asking restaurants what their child policy is before attending.
Here, a few pre-screened restaurants that refuse to break out the coloring books and crayons:
Read correspondent Connie McCabe's first Chile dispatch here.
Monster earthquake notwithstanding, this is a big year for Chile, nothing less than her 200th birthday. But no one is talking much about that anymore.
Michele Bachelet’s Bicentennial Advisory Committee had been mapping out a host of celebrations, initiatives and projects to benchmark the big year. New cultural centers were rising up. A satellite was to be ejected into space. Plazas were to be renovated; parks improved; poetry contests held.
Yesterday, thanks to catastrophe-hungry media, the only things the world saw being held were rifles and iron bars as angry Chileans cleaned out a mini-market just outside Santiago. And the world saw this again and again. That and images of tanks rumbling through debris-strewn streets of Concepcion and smoke billowing ominously out of supermarkets. There’s also the scene of the weary fishermen and their families—what is left of them—combing through the shattered remains of what was, just days before, a coastline of idyllic beach destinations. And people fighting tear gas and each other for a few canisters of powdered milk and scooping up water from blown-up baby swimming pools.
I don’t know about you, but I curse Richard Reid, the goofy-looking “shoe bomber,” every time I have to go through airport security—especially this time of year, when my slip-on, slip-off shoes are deep in storage. Amid talk of high-tech body scanners and some eight years after Reid's failed attempt to blow up a U.S.-bound American Airlines flight by igniting explosives hidden in his footwear, shoe security still proves elusive.
Which brings me to an email I got today from the Transportation Security Administration (if you’re a frequent traveler and don’t subscribe to the agency’s email news list, you should). Its subject line: What Ever Happened To The Shoe Scanner Idea? What ever happened indeed.
The FAA says a controller brought the child to work on February 17th and allowed him to talk to pilots.
"Pending the outcome of our investigation, the employees involved in this incident are not controlling air traffic," the FAA said in a statement. "This behavior is not acceptable and does not demonstrate the kind of professionalism expected from all FAA employees." The agency declined to comment beyond the statement.
In Alaska it’s about surviving winter—a long, long winter. Fortunately, people in Anchorage have not only a frontier spirit but a sense of humor. And so there is Fur Rendezvous, affectionately called the "Fur Rondy" by locals, now in its 75th year and serving up 10 days of crazy winter fun from Feb. 26 - Mar. 6.
The festival leads up to the start of the more serious Iditarod dog sled race, which kicks off March 7 (and runs a 1,200-mile course to Nome).
Racing is part of the action during Fur Rondy too, in the form of the World Championship Sled Dog Races, with 30 mushers and their teams competing for an $80,000 purse, on a 25-mile course. But that’s about as competitive as Fur Rondy gets.
Other festival events, as I witnessed for the first few days, range from the sublime to the ridiculous, including whacky snowshoe softball (competitors fall a lot), a Frostbite Footrace (costumes optional) and the World’s Largest Outhouse Race (yup, teams competing pushing outhouses).
With spring on the horizon but record-breaking cold temperatures still ravaging parts of the country, everyone—especially travelers caught by a surprise storm or frigid temps—is doing what they can to stay warm.
While most people temper the bitter chill by adding multiple layers to their outerwear—that seems reasonable, no?—for some, that is apparently not enough. Enter iTunes App Store.
I know what you're thinking. How can an iPhone app possibly help keep me warm? Mashable reviewed an app that claims to be able to turn your phone into a hand-warming device. How does "Pocket Heater" work?
The app works by stressing the iPhone's processor, battery and other functions to cause the device to overheat and hence become warm to the touch. In theory, this stressing shouldn't cause any damage to the device or yourself, but this is still something we'd classify as "no warranty, use at your own peril."