|ALA Executive Briefing|
|Oct. 22, 2010|
Budget resolutions come into focus
Congress Daily via Government Executive
Lawmakers from both parties expect Congress to pass a budget blueprint this year that reflects the goals set out in President Obama's fiscal 2010 outline. "This is a very clear statement of goals by the president," Rep. Allyson Schwartz, vice chairwoman of the House Budget Committee, said. More
Navy's top officer: 2011 to be year of watching costs
San Diego Union-Tribune
The Navy's top officer issued his thoughts recently about what 2011 will look like for his 330,000 sailors and 288 ships. Highlights of Adm. Gary Roughead's annual "guidance" the Navy will continue to try to cut costs, he said, amid a slow economic recovery. "Our national security remains closely linked to our economy, and in the coming year, we will continue to take bold steps to improve the efficiency of our operations."More
Pentagon comes under fire for defence costings
The Fiscal Times
The Pentagon is probably underestimating the future cost of fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq and is not yet getting to grips with military spending, according to a top analyst in Washington. A report by Anthony Cordesman of the Center for Strategic and International Studies blames the Obama administration for not making "realistic efforts" to estimate the future cost of operations in both countries.More
Clinton's warning to Britain over cuts in defence
London Daily Telegraph
Hillary Clinton, the U.S. secretary of state, and Robert Gates, the secretary of defence, both said they were worried about deep reductions in Britain's Armed Forces and the consequences for international security. The Daily Telegraph disclosed in September that U.S. officials were privately concerned that British defence spending was about to fall below 2 percent of gross domestic product, the minimum standard expected of Nato members.More
Sprouts, still expanding at a rapid pace, keeps a tight focus on fresh produce and customer service
Since it launched its first store eight years ago, Sprouts Farmers Market has continued to branch out, undaunted by the recent economic downturn. Twelve stores opened this year, and seven are planned for 2011. It's a lot, but it's well planned, Doug Sanders, president and chief operating officer, told Supermarket News. Sanders attributes such success to a combination of offering fresh, top-quality natural foods at a value price, and paying close and constant attention to customers.More
QR codes are gaining momentum as they increasingly appear on shelf tags
Dave's Killer Bread is getting attention at retail and not just because of its name. All those who walk down the bread aisle at any PCC Natural Markets store can find out more about the organic, whole-grain bread by using their smart phone to take a picture of a shelf tag. That's because the shelf tag features a quick-response code, a two-dimensional barcode that wirelessly connects cell phone users to websites, photos, videos and other content. In Dave's case, the QR code provides a link to a video about the company.More
Frozen peas recalled due to glass fragments
About 24,000 pounds of frozen green peas and other vegetables supplied by the Pictsweet Co. of Bells, Tenn., are being recalled from Walmart and Kroger stores because the products sold in 12-ounce containers may contain broken glass. Pictsweet says in a statement on the FDA's web site that the recall is voluntary and was issued after it learned that some packages may contain glass fragments, which the company's statement says "may cause injury" if eaten.More
Whole Foods Market offers new holiday gift boxes online
Whole Foods Market, the leading natural and organic foods supermarket, is offering a variety of unique gift boxes available for purchase online. Just in time for the holiday season, this first-ever gift box line has five different themes and is available at www.wholefoodsmarket.com/giftbox. Ranging from $40 to $60 each, the selections all adhere to the company's high quality standards, meaning they are free of artificial preservatives, colors, flavors, sweeteners and hydrogenated fats.More
Study: 70 percent of consumers buy specialty food as 'treats'
Sixty-three percent of consumers have purchased specialty foods this year, a 37 percent increase over 2009, according to "Today's Specialty Food Consumer 2010," the NASFT's annual report on consumer purchasing habits and trends. The increase to 63 percent of consumers purchasing specialty food in 2010 up from 46 percent in 2009 means 51 million consumers have come back to specialty food after cutting their spending during 2008 and 2009, said Ron Tanner, the NASFT's vice president, communications and education.More
Exchange ready for a ghastly good time
The Army & Air Force Exchange Service is teaming up with Hershey's, giving six lucky contestants a chance to scare up an Exchange gift card during Hershey's "Tag Me!" Halloween character naming contest.
Now through October 31, authorized shoppers ages 5 – 17 can submit names for one, or all six Halloween characters, by logging on to the Patriot Family Connection page at www.shopmyexchange.com and following the links.
Characters to be named include a lollipop loving vampire, a wolfman who enjoys devouring gummy worms and a candy bar consuming mummy.
The top five entries for each character will be selected by Exchange leadership. The finalists will have their submissions reposted to the Facebook page for a final vote by fans.
"The Exchange is your Halloween headquarters," said the Exchange's Chief of Staff Col. Virgil Williams. "Everything from masks, costumes, and candy can be found in one convenient place. This contest is another example of the Exchange's commitment to developing an emotional connection with every member of the military family."
Winners will receive a $250 Exchange gift card. Additional details are available at www.shopmyexchange.com/Patriot_Family/tag_me.asp. More
Commerce Department: Retailers bag better sales in September
Kansas City Business Journal
Retail sales are improving. "Retail sales have shown strong growth over the last three months," Commerce Secretary Gary Locke said in a prepared statement. "This rising trend signals that consumer spending is expanding and that the recovery is broadening. The outlook for sustained growth remains positive, and this administration remains focused on continuing the economic turnaround that has now seen four straight quarters of GDP growth and nine straight months in which the private sector has added jobs."More
Chevron unveils 'we agree' advertising campaign
Convenience Store News
Chevron Corp. unveiled their "We Agree" campaign recently, which attempts to address controversial energy issues on a more personal level, according to a report by EnergyDigital.com. "We want the world to know that we're just like you and me," said Chevron Vice Chairman George L. Kirkland. "We've got problems and challenges, and we, too, make mistakes, but we're telling truths no one usually tells."More
8 fast-food restaurants that are actually green
San Francisco Chronicle
When you think of sustainable dining, you probably don't think of fast food. And yet, these fast-food chains are some of the few who have successfully pursued LEED certification by the U.S. Green Building Council. LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design and is an internationally recognized certification that a building meets high standards for energy savings, water efficiency, emissions reduction and other environmental attributes.More
Fast-food restaurants sales gain momentum
With the dog days of summer now a distant memory, U.S. quick-service restaurants are hoping to put sluggish summer sales behind them, Nation's Restaurant News reports. An analyst forecast brighter days ahead for all fast-food restaurants, pointing to slight increases in August and September sales. More
Credit may cost more at gas pump
South Coast Today
The lowest price advertised by a gas station may not be the price you actually pay if you don't notice an important caveat. Some gas stations provide two sets of prices a cheaper price if you pay cash, and a slightly higher one if you pay with a credit card. Gas station owners say the higher charge covers what they must pay credit card companies for the service. At the same time, they offer a cheaper option for those who have the cash.More
Mission: Family - network links spouses with employers, other spouses
Thanks to the fledgling National Military Spouse Network, Coast Guard wife Kausha Donovan made connections that landed her an interview for a full-time job in Washington, D.C. The night after the interview, she was working the room at another networking session in Arlington, Va., the second NMSN has had since its launch in May. "Even if I don't get this job, there may be other opportunities through this event," said Donovan, who has been looking for a full-time data-entry position for nearly two years.More
Navy briefs enterprise network plan
Navy officials said they plan to have the Next-Generation Enterprise Network in operation by 2014. At a press briefing recently, top Navy network officials said they would run five procurements to replace the decade-old Navy Marine Corps Intranet contract, which expired at the end of September. NGEN is intended to replace NMCI.More