ALA Executive Briefing
March 5, 2010

Military announces new social media policy
The New York Times
Many months behind schedule, the Department of Defense on Friday issued a new policy that, on the surface, seems likely to expand access to popular social networking sites like YouTube, Facebook and Twitter by troops using military computers.More

GAO: Federal financial picture is grim
Government Executive
Agencies reported $98 billion in improper payments in 2009; outlays far outpace revenues over long term.More

Marine Corps leader stands against gays in military
Los Angeles Times
The commandant of the Marine Corps said that gays should not be allowed to serve openly in the military, becoming the most senior commander to break from President Obama's goal of lifting the ban.More

Military spouses upset by halt of tuition-help program
Pilot Online
When the Defense Department suddenly halted a popular tuition-assistance plan for military spouses on Feb. 16, most beneficiaries learned about it from each other.More

Pentagon panel has contractor contacts
USA Today
More than half of the panel members appointed to review the Pentagon's latest four-year strategy blueprint have financial ties to defense contractors with a stake in the planning process, a USA TODAY analysis shows.More

Marines storm the Hill seeking equal billing with Navy
Government Executive
A quiet, nine-year effort to give the Marine Corps equal billing in the Navy Department went high profile with a Capitol Hill news conference featuring retired Marine generals, a wounded Marine, parents of Marines and a Hollywood star.More

Pentagon suspends career aid for spouses
The New York Times
Military spouses were enthusiastic last year when the government started offering them grants of up to $6,000 for college or career training.More

Army chief: Soldiers home more between deployments
The Associated Press
Soldiers are getting to spend more time at home between combat deployments as the U.S. military draws down in Iraq and the Army grows in size, the service's chief of staff said.More

FDA calls on food companies to correct labeling violations
Health News Digest
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has notified 17 food manufacturers that the labeling for 22 of their food products violates the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. More

'New frugality' may be enduring feature of post-recession economy
Progressive Grocer
A "new frugality," born of The Great Recession and evidenced by two consecutive years of declining per capita consumption, is now becoming entrenched consumer behavior that is reshaping consumption patterns in ways that will persist even as the economy rebounds, according to a new survey of 2,000 U.S. consumers from Booz & Co.More

Diamond Foods to acquire Kettle Foods
Enhanced Online News
Diamond Foods, Inc., announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Kettle Foods, makers of premium potato chips, from Lion Capital LLP for $615 million in cash. Pursuant to the agreement, Diamond will acquire Kettle operations in both the United States and the United Kingdom.More

What will the next decade bring in food retailing?
SuperMarket News
Ten years ago, in the year 2000, the food-retailing industry was in a state of upheaval. A wave of consolidation had created supermarket giants with a scale built to rival Wal-Mart, the once-hot Internet-grocery segment appeared ready to flame out, and home-meal replacement was all the rage. More

Safeway is first grocer to be founding member of Sustainability Consortium
Packaging Digest
Safeway Inc. has become the first U.S.-based retail grocery chain and manufacturer of private label merchandise to join The Sustainability Consortium in support of the organization's science-based work toward a more sustainable global supply chain.More

Green Bridge Industries, Inc. receives NSF Certification for some of its private labeled products
PR Newswire
Green Bridge Industries, Inc. announces that Organic Product Solutions, the Company's wholly owned subsidiary has been granted certification from NSF International of the United States Department of Agriculture for the private labeled Natures Solution™ product line, which OPS manufactures for its industrial product supplier. More

Retail companies on Business Week's 2010 customer service champ list
About.com Retail Industry
Seven of the top 10 U.S. companies that were ranked by Business Week as being the best of the best in customer service in 2010 were retail companies. More than half of the total list of 25 Customer Service Champs for 2010 are members of the retail industry. This is to be expected since retailing is all about customer contact. You can't really separate excellent retailing from excellent customer service.More

7-Eleven gets game as pay window for virtual goods
PROMO
In the latest initiative in its campaign to become a one-stop shop for online gamers, 7-Eleven will partner with alternative payment start-up Kwedit to let gamers buy virtual goods within their games and then pay for those goods later at participating 7-Eleven stores.More

Trouble ahead: Blockbuster posts $435 million loss
CNET
The hard times just keep slapping Blockbuster. The company announced that it posted a $435 million loss for the fourth quarter.More

Wal-Mart wants suppliers to cut greenhouse gas emissions
USA Today
Wal-Mart Stores, the world's largest retailer, says it wants its suppliers to eliminate 20 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions by the end of 2015.More

Red Lobster, Olive Garden, Longhorn launch 'green' restaurant design initiative
Environmental Leader
Darden Restaurants is rolling out a sustainable restaurant design initiative across its entire portfolio for both new restaurants and remodels. Aimed at reducing the environmental impact of its restaurants while increasing the operational efficiency, Darden is designing eight restaurants at its three largest brands — Red Lobster, Olive Garden and LongHorn Steakhouse –to meet the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards.More

Shopping gets even more social
Entrepreneur
Groupon transforms the art of the deal into a truly collaborative effort. The premise behind the social commerce site is simple yet ingenious: Each day, Groupon.com presents an irresistible bargain from a local retailer or restaurant, with just one catch--the offer is good only if a predetermined number of consumers take advantage within a 24-hour period. More

Randolph will gain military's first 'green' base exchange
San Antonia Business Journal
The Army & Air Force Exchange Service will open its first environmentally friendly base exchange in the country.More

FFSC preps service members for transition into civilian life
Navy Compass
Separating from the military can be a stressful time for many Sailors and Marines, but the Transition Assistance Program (TAP) sponsored by the San Diego Fleet and Family Support Center (FFSC) helps prepare service members for life outside the military, making their transition a little bit easier.More

Soldiers, families top army priorities, leaders say
U.S. Department of Defense
Funding programs to support soldiers and their families is the Army's top priority in the new fiscal year, the service's secretary and chief of staff told a Senate panel. More