March 23, 2011

1. Transfer Round Update
2. Diabetes Alert Day
3. Area Directors' Travels
4. Honors Musical Fest
5. Japan Earthquake Aftershocks
6. Upcoming Diversity and Social Justice Seminars
7. Daylight Savings Time
8. RAT Travel Upgrades
9. Triangle Factory Fire
10. U.S. Citizens Abroad Tax Information
11. Mark Your Calendars
12. Update

1. Transfer Round Update - Update from Transfer Round:
Transfers began last week and are continuing. Debra Degalis, Pacific Area Director, Connie Shanaghan, and I are representing FEA here, working with Patti Ross and her staff. It is truly a collaborative effort to ensure that every possible applicant is placed in the best available appropriate vacancy. The transfer program will continue on schedule and we hope to conclude by Friday with notifications going out no later than April 1st. (from Chuck McCarter)
Remember that your best source for information is as always

2. Diabetes Alert Day - This day was March 22, yesterday, but I think this information is still useful. Diabetes is becoming an epidemic in the US. Please read below.
On March 22nd, the American Diabetes Association is recognizing "Diabetes Alert Day" as the time to find out if you are the 1 in 3 American Adults who are at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. There is a simple test that assesses your risk for Type 2 diabetes; family history, weight, age, activity, etc.
Since 2007, the statistics for pre-diabetes and diabetes have increased. The number of Americans with diabetes has grown from 24 million (children and adults) to 26 million. The number of Americans with pre-diabetes over the age of 20 has risen in three years from 57 million to 79 million. For these latest statistics, a newer method of diagnosing pre-diabetes has been added. Pre-diabetes is diagnosed by looking at either fasting blood glucose of 100-125 mg/dL or an HbA1c (3 month blood glucose average) of 5.7% to 6.4%. These 2007 and 2011 statistics were determined by the National Diabetes Fact Sheet.
Diabetes is a progressive disease. Pre-diabetes (one number apart from diabetes) will eventually become diabetes if you wait too long to take care of your body. Please take a look at some of the numbers of non-diabetes, pre-diabetes and then diabetes:
Fasting Glucose: 99 and below (non-diabetes), 100-125 mg/dL (pre-diabetes), 126 and above (diabetes)
HbA1c (average): 5.7% (non-diabetes), 5.7-6.4% (pre-diabetes), 6.5% (diabetes)

As you can see, pre-diabetes "numbers" are so close to diabetes "numbers". Take them both seriously and don't wait -- act now!
The answer is prevention. There are some controllable risk factors and some uncontrollable. Family history and age you obviously cannot control. However, increasing activity, eating well and keeping your weight near ideal, and controlling your blood pressure are the areas you can take control of. Incorporating a new and healthier mind-set may gradually help you reach a point where you are making different choices for yourself and your body without much effort. Bathing and brushing our teeth and hair are just some examples of ways we take care of ourselves without thinking or making excuses not to do them. Adding an activity to your day should be as routine as brushing your hair. Once you begin making healthier food choices and exercising you will feel more energized and accomplished. Use these feelings to continue on this path to preventing pre-diabetes and ultimately, diabetes.

3. Area Directors' Travels -- Both Chuck and I were in Washington last week for the Board of Directors meeting. Chuck has stayed on to work on the transfer program. Thursday I will be visiting both Netzaberg schools and attending the board meeting of the Grafenwohr Education Association

4. Honors Musical Fest 2011 -- A reminder that the annual Honors Musical Festival will be held this year on March 31 at 1900 at the Wiesbaden Kurhaus Concert Hall. DoDEA students from all over Europe will be performing.

5. Japan Earthquake Aftershocks -- There is an interesting and informative site that shows the magnitude and location of all the aftershocks from the recent major earthquake of March 11. It can be accessed at here Thanks to Priscilla Veto of Vilseck ES for providing this page.

6. Upcoming Diversity and Social Justice Seminars - The FEA HCR program has been working hard to bring NEA HCR training seminars to areas of Europe that have previously missed out on these opportunities. NEA provides the funds to send trainers to our locations, and all we have to provide is the location and bodies to make their expenditure sending trainers to Europe worthwhile. The attached flyer gives details as to the locations and times.

7. Daylight Savings Time -- Europe officially goes to DST at 2 A.M. on Sunday, March 27. At that point we go back to a 6 hour difference with the east coast for Central Europe, and a 5 hour difference for the UK. Remember -- Spring forward, Fall back!

8. RAT Travel Upgrades - Summer travel time is rapidly approaching. Requests for travel upgrade, for RAT travel and for known summer TDY travel, should be submitted NLT April 15, 2011.The latest policies, procedures and forms related to employee request for travel upgrade for a medical disability/special need reason during renewal agreement travel season is forwarded for dissemination. This information, along with the necessary forms can be accessed here.
Please note that the term Premium Class Travel Accommodations has changed to Other than Economy/Coach Class Accommodations based on JTR revision. Other than Economy/Coach Class Accommodations is equivalent to business class travel, not first class.
Travelers should be aware that the process is a lengthy one and will require sufficient time to obtain the required authorization from the approving official prior to travel. Therefore, employees seeking upgrade should submit their requests no later than April 15. If extenuating circumstances or emergency situations prevent advance authorization, the traveler must obtain written approval from the appropriate other than economy/coach class approving official within 7 days of travel completion. Failure to receive the appropriate authorization/approval for other than economy/coach class transportation either before or after travel may result in the traveler being financially liable for costs over the economy/coach class airfare.
In order to avoid delays, travel fares for coach and business class to and from the home of record should be submitted from the onset. For alternate travel destinations, any cost in excess of the costs for the direct and uninterrupted travel to and from the home or record will be borne by the employee.
Questions regarding Travel Upgrade Requests should be directed to Gloria Rios, email:, phone: DSN 425-3245/Commercial 703-588-3245, fax: DSN 425-3249/Commercial 703-588-3249.

9. Triangle Factory Fire -- March 25 marks the 100th Anniversary of the Triangle Factory Fire. Many historians credit this tragedy as as the impetus for the modern day organized labor movement in the United States. Attached is a very informative web site with details of this event, interactive pages, and student oriented materials and activities.

10. U.S. Citizens Abroad Tax Information -- Attached is information from the IRS for all of us living outside of CONUS for filing our 2010 Income Tax. It includes deadlines, forms, addresses, and other useful information. No one likes to think about it but the filing deadline is now less than a month away.

11. Mark Your Calendars -
March 27 -- Daylight Savings Time begins (Europe)
April 28-29 -- European Area Council
April 30 -- Association Day (Wiesbaden)

12. Update - Chuck will be sending out the next Update on March 30.


Alex Veto
FEA Europe Area Director
Tel: 0160 2388051