Von Spakovsky riled Fairfax with voter fraud efforts; Trump just elevated him

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Heritage Foundation scholar is vilified by some, hailed by others for strict voting campaigns

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Capitals’ Dmitry Orlov signs $30.6 million, 6-year deal

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ARLINGTON, Va. (AP) — Dmitry Orlov developed into one of the Washington Capitals’ best defensemen last season, and he’s being rewarded with a long-term, big-money contract.

The Capitals re-signed Orlov on Friday to a $30.6 million, six-year deal that carries a $5.1 million salary-cap hit through the 2022-23 season. The substantial raise from his $2.57 million, one-year contract reflects the top-pairing role he has assumed on the blue line.

“His growth, we talked about a young player being patient, allowing him to grow, allowing him to make mistakes, allowing him to get to the next level,” coach Barry Trotz said Friday. “And with a good plan and his work ethic and him buying into it, he’s turned himself into a pretty good player, a good piece for us, and he’s getting paid for it.”

Orlov tweeted that he’s happy to stay in Washington and can’t wait for next year.

The 25-year-old Russian was the Capitals’ most improved player last season. He had six goals, a career-high 27 assists and 33 points in 82 games after missing the entire 2014-15 season with a wrist injury.

“It was a coming out party for him,” defense partner Matt Niskanen said. “He turned into a stud. He was our best D-man on many, many occasions this year.”

Orlov developed into a top-pairing defenseman with the trust of Trotz and associate coach Todd Reirden, playing alongside Niskanen late in the season and into the playoffs.

“They give me chance to play and I try to play smart and not make big mistakes,” Orlov said recently. “Thanks coaches to give me this opportunity to play more minutes and I try to do my best, try to be better than last year, try to get confidence and get my game going and get more comfortable.”

A year after being a healthy scratch in the playoffs and playing a smaller role, Orlov averaged over 19 minutes a game in the regular season and over 21 minutes in the playoffs.

“Every player like when he play more,” Orlov said. “It’s human nature. You want to play, you want to be big part of your team.”

Orlov said he tried to learn from Niskanen and cut down on some of the risky plays and mistakes he made as a younger player. Coming back from being out so long with the wrist injury forced Orlov to re-learn on-ice instincts, and the effect of that was noticeable.

“I think more than anything he’s got a good balance and you got trust in his game,” Trotz said. “That comes with reps and confidence and success, and when you have all those, which Orly has, you see that his skillset comes out offensively, defensively, he plays with a little bit of an edge, he’s good 1-on-1. There’s a lot of things that you like about Dmitry.”

MacLellan said re-signing Orlov, Evgeny Kuznetsov, Andre Burakovsky and Philipp Grubauer was his top offseason priority — all were restricted free agents. Last week he re-signed pending unrestricted winger T.J. Oshie to a $46 million, eight-year deal.

Cap-crunched Washington will almost certainly lose winger Justin Williams, forward Daniel Winnik and defensemen Karl Alzner and Kevin Shattenkirk in free agency. The Capitals have roughly $12 million in cap space left and still need to sign Kuznetsov, Burakovsy and Grubauer to new contracts.

Because of that, the Capitals are expected to be quiet in the free agent market.

“The priority is on our existing guys, our RFAs,” Trotz said. “(Capitals executives are) working hard. They’ll have a good plan. When the dust settles, we’ll see what we’ve got.”

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Follow Hockey Writer Stephen Whyno on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/SWhyno .

___

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Virginia man pleads guilty to killing father, brother

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CHESAPEAKE, Va. (AP) — A man accused of killing his father and brother and seriously injuring his mother has pleaded guilty.

Local news outlets report that Zachary Toothman pleaded guilty to murder and attempted murder Friday for the shootings at the family’s home in August.

Authorities found Michael Toothman and 17-year-old son Matthew dead. Toothman’s mother Susie was wounded and later released from the hospital.

Michael Toothman was a 30-year veteran of the Chesapeake Police Department.

Toothman is expected to be sentenced in November. He faces a maximum of life in prison for each of the murder charges and up to 10 years for attempted murder.

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Implementing Outcome-Based Collaboration to Drive Improved Customer Experience

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In Asurion’s new member blog post, Senior Vice President of Retail Application Delivery and Voice Services Sean Nass discusses embracing new product development models rooted in collaboration and focused on outcomes. A global leader of connected life services, Asurion partners with leading wireless carriers, retailers and pay-tv providers to provide consumers with protection and premium tech help  supporting mobile phones, consumer electronics and home appliances. 


644-012 D15b FINAL Asurion LogoThere is a big shift in how technology companies are going about business.

Many are pivoting from a process-and project-based strategy to one that is more forward-thinking. Team members are crossing boundaries, blurring the lines of previous structures and coming together in the spirit of collaboration to deliver outcomes that exceed customer expectations.

In the old model of business, the technology focus was on delivering large projects using project managers and a pool of resources, defining and limiting capacity. Instead of focusing on an outcome, teams would get together and create big requirement documents with minute details that would bog down capacity, forcing a project through months of work and still frequently achieving a result that was somehow different from how it was initially envisioned. Opportunity costs were often lost under this old model of product development.

Now businesses are pivoting, with a more forward-thinking attitude in mind. At Asurion, we recently built what we call journey teams, individuals across key sectors of our business who come together to optimize the speed with which a project achieves its desired outcome and experience for consumers. As part of this shift, we merged product, design, technology and customer experience teams to optimize the process with the project’s outcome in mind rather than focus on the process itself. The days of separate “product” and “IT” silos are behind us. We’ve combined product, design and technology teams and have empowered them to ask the question “How do we focus on what’s best for the consumer experience?”

Take the claim process as an example. Under previous models, a customer’s claim would pass through various workflows, often with redundant or unnecessary steps that may not have been a great experience for the customer. Under our journey team model, we dedicated product, technology and design leads to focus on an outcome that equates to a positive customer experience. This mentality leads to faster time to market and less waste in resource capacity, and allows our team members the ability to innovate in a rapid fashion. More importantly, the customer has a really positive experience.

We don’t tell our journey teams what to do or how to do it – instead, they innovate and test ideas and are empowered to make decisions on their own, all with this singular goal of improving consumer experience. The journey teams put together a vision based on a desired outcome, a vision that nails down what is going to work and what isn’t to drive improvements in speed, reliability and efficiency of a product’s delivery.

The shift has opened up new channels of communication and new ways of interacting across teams, even to the point of how we collocate in our workspace. We have seen a radical change in the quality of our intercommunications because people are developing prototypes, conducting tests and not working off huge requirement documents.

Our goal is to create a seamless integration of product, technology and design that optimizes the experience for our customers.

It hasn’t all been easy, but progress doesn’t occur without change. We certainly can’t transform all teams into this model at once. However, with patience and modeling teams’ successes, we are seeing increases in quality and speed, and the enthusiasm of the teams is amazing. They are so engaged because they see a direct correlation in their work and how it dramatically improves a customer interaction. There’s more alignment among product, technology and client services than we’ve ever seen before. If you are thinking of trying something similar in your offices, I recommend forming a shared goal, a shared alignment across all teams and placing the focus on future growth. Your efficiency and product development and delivery will improve, and that’s what everyone is looking for, after all.

 

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Northern Virginia Digital Marketing Agency

Implementing Outcome-Based Collaboration to Drive Improved Customer Experience

Grow Your Business in Northern Virginia with digital marketing services from The W Agency

In Asurion’s new member blog post, Senior Vice President of Retail Application Delivery and Voice Services Sean Nass discusses embracing new product development models rooted in collaboration and focused on outcomes. A global leader of connected life services, Asurion partners with leading wireless carriers, retailers and pay-tv providers to provide consumers with protection and premium tech help  supporting mobile phones, consumer electronics and home appliances. 


644-012 D15b FINAL Asurion LogoThere is a big shift in how technology companies are going about business.

Many are pivoting from a process-and project-based strategy to one that is more forward-thinking. Team members are crossing boundaries, blurring the lines of previous structures and coming together in the spirit of collaboration to deliver outcomes that exceed customer expectations.

In the old model of business, the technology focus was on delivering large projects using project managers and a pool of resources, defining and limiting capacity. Instead of focusing on an outcome, teams would get together and create big requirement documents with minute details that would bog down capacity, forcing a project through months of work and still frequently achieving a result that was somehow different from how it was initially envisioned. Opportunity costs were often lost under this old model of product development.

Now businesses are pivoting, with a more forward-thinking attitude in mind. At Asurion, we recently built what we call journey teams, individuals across key sectors of our business who come together to optimize the speed with which a project achieves its desired outcome and experience for consumers. As part of this shift, we merged product, design, technology and customer experience teams to optimize the process with the project’s outcome in mind rather than focus on the process itself. The days of separate “product” and “IT” silos are behind us. We’ve combined product, design and technology teams and have empowered them to ask the question “How do we focus on what’s best for the consumer experience?”

Take the claim process as an example. Under previous models, a customer’s claim would pass through various workflows, often with redundant or unnecessary steps that may not have been a great experience for the customer. Under our journey team model, we dedicated product, technology and design leads to focus on an outcome that equates to a positive customer experience. This mentality leads to faster time to market and less waste in resource capacity, and allows our team members the ability to innovate in a rapid fashion. More importantly, the customer has a really positive experience.

We don’t tell our journey teams what to do or how to do it – instead, they innovate and test ideas and are empowered to make decisions on their own, all with this singular goal of improving consumer experience. The journey teams put together a vision based on a desired outcome, a vision that nails down what is going to work and what isn’t to drive improvements in speed, reliability and efficiency of a product’s delivery.

The shift has opened up new channels of communication and new ways of interacting across teams, even to the point of how we collocate in our workspace. We have seen a radical change in the quality of our intercommunications because people are developing prototypes, conducting tests and not working off huge requirement documents.

Our goal is to create a seamless integration of product, technology and design that optimizes the experience for our customers.

It hasn’t all been easy, but progress doesn’t occur without change. We certainly can’t transform all teams into this model at once. However, with patience and modeling teams’ successes, we are seeing increases in quality and speed, and the enthusiasm of the teams is amazing. They are so engaged because they see a direct correlation in their work and how it dramatically improves a customer interaction. There’s more alignment among product, technology and client services than we’ve ever seen before. If you are thinking of trying something similar in your offices, I recommend forming a shared goal, a shared alignment across all teams and placing the focus on future growth. Your efficiency and product development and delivery will improve, and that’s what everyone is looking for, after all.

 

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Nordstrom to close Dulles Town Center store

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DULLES, Va. — Some unhappy news for fans of Nordstrom in Northern Virginia: The Seattle-based company announced Friday that it will close its Dulles Town Center store in September.

“In looking at the greater D.C. market, we feel we can serve our customers better at our other area stores and online,” said Jamie Nordstrom, president of stores for Nordstrom, in a news release. “We’ve been fortunate to build great relationships with our customers and employees at our Dulles Town Center store for the past 15 years however, our operating agreement is set to expire and closing this store is the best decision for us.”

The store opened in 2002.

The company says the store closure will affect about 150 nonseasonal employees. “Given the number of stores in the area, we will be able to offer roles to anyone who wants to stay on with us,” said Nordstrom.

Nordstrom has stores at Tysons Corner Center, Montgomery Mall, Fashion Centre at Pentagon City, Annapolis Mall and The Mall in Columbia. The company also operates 12 Nordstrom Rack stores in the area.

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