Dan Cohen AUTHOR The state of Washington has completed development of an economic planning model aimed at helping defense contractors, and state and local agencies respond to DOD spending cuts.Gov. Jay Inslee (D) on Tuesday unveiled the Defense Data Tool, which stemmed from the effort led by the Washington Military Alliance to address military downsizing. The model, funded by a $500,000 grant from DOD’s Office of Economic Adjustment, shows how changes in defense spending affect specific industries and occupations, down to individual counties, according to a press release.The governor showcased the model during a visit to Jorgensen Forge, a machining company that contracts heavily with the Navy but has started expanding into the aerospace industry. The new tool is essential for companies such as Jorgensen because it allows them to anticipate reduced contracting opportunities and retool their workers or seek business elsewhere, said CEO Mike Jewell.“The state’s foresight in actively planning for potential base closures and lower levels of military spending is helping companies like ours transform to survive what might otherwise be a potentially devastating business setback,” Jewell said.“Our new Defense Data Tool provides detailed mapping of the specific industries and occupations that make up our defense manufacturing supply chain. Armed with that data, we can more effectively identify and target investments, such as the WorkStart funding for Jorgensen’s lean manufacturing system, to address potentially larger impacts of DOD downsizing in our communities,” said Kristine Reeves, the governor’s sector lead on military and defense economic development.A $100,000 grant from the Washington WorkStart program established a master machinist training program intended to support Jorgensen’s adoption of lean manufacturing techniques. The planning tool was developed in collaboration with Reeves, local economic development leaders and members of the Washington Military Alliance.
All hail the queen of drama, Suchitra Krishnamoorthi, as she arrives in the Capital for the first time to take us on a roller-coaster ride that is her life. ‘Drama Queen’ – an honest biographical play – based on her book of the same name – will make you laugh, cry and look at the modern Indian woman in a whole new light with all her vulnerabilities and strengths.After a decade long hiatus, Suchitra says that as her daughter is all grown-up now, she has decided to get more active. “Being a single mother is extremely demanding on your time as you don’t have the liberty of just taking off to somewhere. So, I made a choice of staying at home and look over my newborn daughter. And now that she can take care of herself, I decided to get back to being more active,” said the actor with an impressive filmography. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfDirected by Inaayat Ali Sami and presented by AGP world, the play on October 6 at the India Habitat Centre, will show her in a never seen before avatar for the first time, as we witness the drama queen, looking for the perfect life partner. “It is almost impossible to enact the whole book, so, for the play, I chose the part where I go around proposing marriage to my friends, how my family reacts to it and the events that unfold due to those incidents.” Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveSuchitra shares, “In the book, you won’t know where the fact ends and fiction starts; my life is much vast than that. The play and the book are all about how things unfold in my life – in a highly dramatised manner. I did take some vulnerable moments of my life for the performance and tried to play the character with a lot of humour and fun.” In her candid, wacky, madcap biography, Suchitra takes us on a hormone-driven period of her life five years post-divorce with actor-director Shekhar Kapur; fame and everything that a good girl from a ‘decent’ Indian family would want. But who is a ‘good girl’ from a ‘decent’ family? “In my book, I was talking about the kind of society that we live in; a society with a typical middle-class environment. A girl has to adhere by so many do’s and don’ts; you are not supposed to talk or dress in a certain way; don’t date men, and be confined to what the family wants from you. I think that pressure is too much and in my own way, I was trying to break out of that and say, that I am as much of a good girl even if I don’t adhere to it. Parental and family pressure, society rules, and log kya kahenge is something we are all trapped in to a certain extent and I never understood the hypocrisy or brushing things under the carpet. I have never understood why people in India don’t talk about sex or going to a shrink. These things should be very normal,” said the unabashed actor, writer and singer. Suchitra has never shied away from calling a spade a spade even if it dismays the society and that’s what one can expect from her play. “I think society is very afraid of women’s sexuality, and their freedom. And that’s something which comes from patriarchy. It is a patriarchy that has trickled down even to women in the way they are conditioned. I frankly don’t take much heed towards what people say about me, how they judge me or how they see me. I think everyone should concentrate all their energy on their own life and try to make their own life better.”Suchitra has seen the industry up-close and said a big no to a favour in exchange for sex. She says that if an adult woman has consensual sex with a man 10 times then she cannot cry rape, as we see this happening nowadays. “I think it is a pure exploitation of the law and a lot of women are misusing the law. There is something very convoluted and opportunistic about that. Yes, women should be protected but women can also use the law wrongly and I think that’s happening in many instances. Women should also have the guts to have sex for the sake of sex or advancement, and not play helpless victims when things go wrong.” A single mother, stuck in the quagmire of her strict middle-class moral upbringing, Suchitra hurtles, chugs and somersaults on a rollercoaster journey in a desperate bid to find security and true love. This play will teach you ‘the freedom to be’ or as Suchitra says, “It is perfectly okay to be vulnerable, to make mistakes, to express yourself and it’s okay to be yourself.”