Archive for May, 2008


Associated Press Announcement: US Airways to cut free snacks on domestic routes

Thursday, May 29, 2008
Associated Press
May 29, 2008

TEMPE, Ariz. – Fliers, let go of the pretzels and peanuts.

In what could be the ultimate cost-cutting move by airlines buffeted by sky-high fuel prices, US Airways Group says it will eliminate free snacks in coach class on all its domestic flights starting June 1.

US Airways also says it has matched last week’s fare hikes by United Airlines, AMR Corp.’s American Airlines and Delta Air Lines Inc. The increases are from $10 to $60 per round trip and vary based on the length of the flight.

US Airways spokesman Morgan Durrant says the move to cut free snacks was needed to save money in a time of extremely high fuel costs. The price of jet fuel has soared this year with crude oil prices in the $130-per-barrel range.

The airline is still providing complimentary soft drinks.


Car Lovers from DC, Virginia, and Baltimore Will Come Together in Maryland to Raise Money for the USO Metro

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

“The CONCORSO: Celebrating the Art of The Automobile”: Mark Your Calendars and Make Your Hotel Reservations NOW to Visit Baltimore September 6-7, 2008

USO Friends and families of Maserati of Baltimore, M.O.B. Exotics, Lamborghini Washington, Lamborghini Baltimore, Maserati of Washington, Ferrari of Washington, and Maserati of Washington take note! There is a wonderful opportunity coming up this fall to play in traffic with your exotic cars, have a great time, and to raise some money for a very worthy cause–benefiting our soldiers and heroes of the United States Armed Forces through the charitable efforts of the USO.

Saturday September 6th launching from the Maserati of Baltimore location at 1628 York Road in “Lutherville Timonium” [according to most Nav and GPS devices], we’ll be hosting a ROAD RALLY touring the northern Maryland regions and finishing with a touch of magic from Baltimore’s LITTLE ITALY. The exact course is being determined now, but drivers and co-pilots can expect to visit Maryland’s soaring heights and lush county grounds while they wind their way about the lakes and mountains, followed by a brief tour through downtown. Offering a fun rally style for everyone, at the end of the day we’ll be rewarding our most attentive teams with some terrific gift baskets and M.O.B. Exotics Race Fan Boutique prizes and certificates.

On that same day, later that evening Saturday, September 6, speed and travel fans can head over to the Baltimore Washington Airport area to visit the next leg of the weekend events. Aptly titled, “Wings and Wheels”, participants will get an up close and personal look at all kinds of exotic cars, planes, military vehicles, and private jets. With great assistance from BWI and Signature Flight Support, crowds are sure to be “wowed”.

On Sunday, September 7, 2008, we’ll be following through again with a huge CONCORSO event hosted at the POWERPLANT LIVE, making Baltimore’s Inner Harbor an even better looking and sounding venue for car lovers to day or weekend trip for this event. With over 5,000 visitors already expected to attend, you will want to register early to be sure to get your Pit Passes and car placement for this event.

For more information about the events of the day and weekend, please visit the USO CONCORSO link by clicking HERE. We are still actively seeking volunteers and event sponsors to help raise money for the USO, so please… if you are interested in participating let us know. We are also looking for donation items and services for the Silent Auction portion of the event, too, so if you know of a person, business, artist, or restaurant that might want to contribute, we’d love to speak with you. [All donated items, staff time, products or services costs are 100% tax deductible and vouchers will be issued through the USO.]

Read on for more information about the history on the event, excerpted from

“The Concorso: Celebrating the Art of the Automobile” is proud to announce our fourth annual event and two days of fund raising, parties, music, and food to benefit the USO, supporting our men and women in uniform. The theme this year is Celebrating the Art of the Automobile and will explore the artistic and sculptural forms of the transportation industry. This was formally the Concorso Italia and is still lead by its founders, Jonathan Kendall and Dave Born.

Jonathan Kendall started this event in October of 2005 as a way to raise money to help our community in the Baltimore-Washington area. The first event was attended by about (100) people, (12) cars and a beautiful automotive art display together in Annapolis. 2006 Followed a move to the famous City Dock in Annapolis, (100) people, (25) cars along with Jonathan’s beautiful photographic style of art. In 2007 the event took a huge leap to Little Italy in Baltimore where there were (75) cars and motorcycles, (250) ticket holders, (3000) spectators. For 2008 a plan has been put together to continue to grow the event and to benefit a new worthwhile charity. This year Jonathan and Dave have chosen to work with the USO as the beneficiary.

Saturday, September 6th starts with a fun “Rally” driving event through the Baltimore County, Maryland countryside that ends [winding through] historic Little Italy with an awards ceremony [scheduled for later that afternoon]. Saturday continues with the evening event at the Signature Flight Support “Wings and Wheels” Reception to be held at their modern BWI general aviation facility. Ticket holders will enjoy wonderful assortment of international cuisines, wine and drinks. There will be a silent and live auction to benefit the charities. And the event will feature live entertainment as well as a display of automotive and aircraft art.

Sunday’s event is The Concorso and will be in downtown Baltimore at the Cordish Company’s exciting Power Plant Live located at Market Place and Water Street. Over (100) exotic cars will be on display for the general public to view. There will be a private lounge, Angel’s Rock Bar, where ticket holders will find food and drinks for the afternoon. This will be our formal car judging segment and also include live entertainment, auctions and art displays.



Brambleton Town Center BLOCKBUSTER Movie Lineup Links for Memorial Day Weekend 2008

Friday, May 23, 2008

Fox Cinemas in Brambleton Town Center (Ryan Road off Loudoun County Parkway)



22875 Brambleton Plaza
Ashburn, VA 20148

SHOWTIMES: 703-957-1035

~ or ~

Click Here for Online Access to Movie Showtimes


Matinee: $8.00
Adult: $10.00
Students: $9.00
Seniors: $7.50
Children: $7.50
Military: $8.75



Friday, May 23, 2008

excerpt from Brambleton’s FRIDAY FLASH


“The President’s Own” United States Marine Band with Fireworks!–  Sunday, May 25, at 8:00pm – Celebrate the start of the season at Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts with a performance of concert band favorites followed by a dazzling fireworks display.  Gates open at 7pm for House and Lawn. Fireworks viewing area opens following the performance at approximately 9:30pm.  Fireworks begin at approximately 9:45pm.  Check the website or more information. 

National Memorial Day Parade  – Monday, May 26, beginning at 2pm – The parade of Marching Bands and Veterans units from all 50 states steps off at the corner of Constitution Avenue and 7th Streets, NW and proceeds along Constitution Avenue, past the White House, ending at 17th Street. The National Memorial Day Parade is sponsored by the World War II Veterans Committee and includes patriotic floats and helium-filled balloons.

PBS’ National Memorial Day Concert  – Sunday, May 25 at 8pm – PBS sponsors a FREE concert on the West Lawn of the U. S. Capitol. The concert features actors Joe Mantegna, Gary Sinise, and Charles Durning, and other guest artists along with conductor Erich Kunzel and the National Symphony Orchestra


Brambleton To Host 4th Annual FREEDOM FESTIVAL on Saturday, June 28th

Friday, May 23, 2008

excerpt from the FRIDAY FLASH

Looking to Become More Involved in the Community?  – The Brambleton HOA and Activities Committee are excited for the 4thAnnual Freedom Festival which will be held on Saturday, June 28that 4pm.  This year, the festival will conclude with a wonderful fireworks display.  The success of each and every Brambleton event depends greatly on willing and helpful hands.  There are plenty of volunteer opportunities available at this year’s festival.  If you would like to contribute a few hours of your time, please contact Christine Elansary or call 703-542-6263.  All volunteers will receive a Freedom Fest T-shirt, access to the volunteer hospitality tent, an invitation to the VIP reception and a chance to win a spa gift certificate.      


Brambleton Pool Hours Summer 2008

Friday, May 23, 2008

Brambleton Community Center Pool Opens on Saturday  – Extended pool registration hours will be from 9am – 12pm on Saturday at the Brambleton Management Office.  The pool hours are as follows –

When public schools are in session:

Monday, Wednesday and Friday       4:00pm – 8:00pm

Tuesday and Thursday                     12:00pm – 8:00pm

Saturday, Sunday and Holidays         10:00am – 8:00pm

When public schools are not in session:

Everyday (including holidays)             10:00am – 8:00pm


eBay Changing Feedback Process to Give Buyers a Chance to Leave Honest Feedback Without Fearing Retaliatory Remarks

Monday, May 19, 2008

YAHOO! The mega-auction site eBay announced in January of 2008 their plans to change the feedback system on their site, giving buyers and opportunity to leave honest feedback and limiting sellers ability to leave negative feedback for buyers who have paid promptly and with good will but were unhappy with the product order. The changes went into effect today… May 19, 2008… and here’s the historical story direct from eBay.

May 19, 2008 | 10:14AM PST/PT

The feedback changes outlined in Brian’s announcement below will go into effect today. You can learn more about these changes by visiting our information page and updated FAQ.

We will be updating everyone’s feedback scores over the next few days to reflect their repeat feedback. During this time, some sellers may see a temporary discrepancy between their scores shown on their item pages and on their Feedback Profile.

***Original: A Message from Brian Burke – Upcoming Feedback Changes***

May 07, 2008 | 09:03AM PST/PT

Brian Burke

Hello everyone…as we announced back in January, we’re making some bold changes to how Feedback on eBay works. As we get closer to our launch, I wanted to review the changes we’ve discussed and provide some additional detail and updates.As a recap, here’s what we announced in January that is scheduled to launch the week of May 19th in North America (which includes in the US, as well as and eBay.cafr in Canada):


  • Sellers may only leave positive feedback for buyers
  • We will remove negative and neutral Feedback if a member becomes suspended
  • Members can leave Feedback up to 60 days after a transaction (down from 90)
  • We will remove Feedback when a buyer fails to respond to the unpaid item process.
  • Members will receive credit for weekly repeat Feedback (going back to 1996)
  • We will base the Positive Feedback Percentage on the past 12 months of activity (and include neutral Feedback in the calculation)
  • The PowerSeller Program will use the same calculation method described above to determine eligibility for the PS Program for the Positive Feedback percentage requirement of 98% positive.

Next I’d like to share some additional detail beyond what we discussed in the original post:


  • In January we mentioned that we’d block buyers from leaving negative or neutral Feedback for 3 days for sellers “with a track record.” Since January, we’ve made the decision to increase the wait period to 7 days and define “track record” as active PowerSellers who have been on eBay for at least 12 months.We studied the factors that increased risk to buyers the most and found there are three: a) a seller’s Positive Feedback percentage and DSRs, b) the volume of a seller’s Feedback – both in total and on an ongoing basis and c) length of time a seller has been on site.We selected PowerSellers who have been on eBay at least 12 months in order to minimize risk to buyers, because: 
      a. PowerSellers have to meet quality thresholds for both conventional Feedback and, starting in July, for Detailed Seller Ratings
      b. PowerSellers have to meet volume requirements – both in total and on an ongoing basis
      c. One year on-site proved to be an important predictor of lower risk

    All three factors prove important to predicting the risk to buyers – removing any one of them would increase risk to a level we are not currently comfortable with at this time.

    We will watch all aspects of the new Feedback system very carefully, studying how the marketplace responds and we will make changes as we see appropriate.


  • We mentioned that we’d be aligning the Mutual Feedback Withdrawal process with the new system. After much consideration, we’ve made the decision to remove the Mutual Feedback Withdrawal process. The reason is that – under the new rules – it opens sellers up to extortion. As part of this decision, Mutual Agreement from third-party Feedback mediation services, such as SquareTrade, will also no longer be accepted. 

Over the last several months, we’ve had many conversations with our customers – both buyers and sellers – and we’ve had the opportunity to consider ways we can address some of the top concerns we’ve heard. Based on the input we’ve received from you, I want to share some additional modifications we’re making: 

  • We are adding language in the leave Feedback flow for buyers who are in a cross-border transaction that reminds them that international transactions usually take longer to complete. 
  • We’ve improved the interstitial page that all buyers see before leaving negative or neutral Feedback; the updated page offers a stronger message to buyers about the need to communicate with the seller, to allow enough time for the transaction to complete, and to keep Feedback factual. 
  • And later this month… 
    • In addition to expanding the 3-day block to 7 days, we are introducing a new Buyer Requirement that will allow sellers to block buyers who have been reported by other sellers for eBay buying policy violations (such as Feedback abuse, or email threats). 
    • We’re expanding the scope of the existing Buyer Requirement for unpaid items, so that it supports more comprehensive blocking of buyers who have a history of non-payment. 
    • We’ve improved the process that sellers use to report buyers for policy violations. 
    • Detailed Seller Ratings will be coming to Half in the next couple months. Watch for more information on this via email and on the Half discussion forum in the next couple of weeks.

As you can see, these changes represent a huge investment in transforming the way Feedback works, so that it better serves today’s marketplace. Ultimately, the goal is to restore trust and transparency and improve the buying experience, while offering needed checks and balances that ensure our sellers who provide excellent service benefit.


Brian Burke
Director, Global Feedback Policy

Link to this announcement