News Article | May 11, 2017
PALO ALTO and SAN MATEO, Calif., May 11, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Accellion, Inc., the leading provider in hybrid and private cloud secure content collaboration, and PacketZoom, a leader in mobile application acceleration, today announced they have entered into a development partnership. Under the terms of the agreement, the companies will work together to optimize performance models when sharing and editing large files, further enhancing the performance of Accellion’s kiteworks mobile application. As enterprise content continues to increase in size, spurred in part by the emergence of richer content types including high resolution images and video, a growing mobile workforce will place demands on file sharing applications to deliver content quickly. Documents, spreadsheets, presentations, images, videos and other file formats can range from several megabytes to gigabytes in size, and employee efficiency when collaborating on information with partners or clients will require faster network performance – particularly when using a smartphone or tablet. To stay ahead of this trend, Accellion has identified PacketZoom’s technology as an innovative approach to significantly accelerate content download speeds. Accellion and PacketZoom are currently testing PacketZoom’s Mobile Expresslane solution, integrated with Accellion’s kiteworks mobile application. Accellion anticipates being able to double download speeds using kiteworks’ mobile application once a version incorporating PacketZoom is available, which is expected in an upcoming release. “By reducing round trips over high latency and error prone mobile/Wi-Fi connections, Accellion sees in PacketZoom’s technology the means to transmit data and content from the origin server much faster and much more reliably than with legacy network based stacks,” commented Cliff White, CTO of Accellion. “PacketZoom’s network analytics should also provide great value to kiteworks and our customers by giving insights into how end users are interacting with content.” “Organizations are generating more content than ever, and the demand to share and collaborate efficiently on that content with external partners is increasing as well,” commented Jonathan Yaron, Chairman and CEO of Accellion. “By accelerating download speeds at the last mile, PacketZoom and Accellion are developing an innovative solution that addresses the challenges of delivering larger files, such as medical images for collaborative healthcare, or big data sets for financial analysis. PacketZoom’s vision – and the talented team they have assembled to execute on this vision – is just the kind of development partnership Accellion looks for to enhance our products and serve our customers’ needs. Together, I anticipate we will be able to significantly improve how enterprise employees share richer content and collaborate more effectively.” “We are excited about this partnership and look forward to working closely with Accellion to enhance the mobile enterprise experience, especially with regards to improving file download speeds and continuity,” stated Shlomi Gian, PacketZoom’s CEO. “Organizations in regulated industries that rely on kiteworks for secure collaboration while on the go, will be able to exchange data even faster, in a reliable way, thanks to the integration of PacketZoom Mobile Expresslane.” Accellion, Inc. enables enterprise organizations to collaborate on content with external partners securely via private cloud. Enterprises can leave existing content where it belongs, and extend it to the outside world without having to migrate content or disrupt their business workflows. Accellion’s solutions are used by more than 15 million users and 2,500 of the world’s leading corporations and government agencies including Procter & Gamble; KPMG; Kaiser Permanente; Latham & Watkins; National Park Service; Umpqua Bank; Cargill; and the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST). For more information please visit www.accellion.com or call (650) 485-4300. Follow Accellion on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Accellion’s Blog. PacketZoom Mobile ExpresslaneTM improves user experience on mobile apps by eliminating performance roadblocks in the mobile last mile, helping mobile publishers boost app performance worldwide by accelerating and improving reliability of content delivery. PacketZoom’s SDK redefines mobile performance via in-app networking technology, customized for each user. By removing roadblocks in the mobile last mile, PacketZoom is able to significantly accelerate performance by 2x to 3x, rescue up to 80% of the sessions from TCP connection drop and reduce CDN costs. For more information: www.packetzoom.com.
News Article | May 10, 2017
Travel and tourism generated an estimated 142,500 direct, indirect and induced jobs in 2015 and around $4.3 billion in wages. Travel and tourism-supported jobs grew 12 percent and tourism-related wages increased 20 percent from 2011 to 2015. Tourism-related sales tax revenues saw healthy increases over this period as well, including a 12 percent increase in municipal transient room tax revenue, a 10 percent increase in county transient room tax revenue and an 8 percent increase in resort communities' sales tax revenue. "In a year of fairly disappointing global economic growth, Utah attracted more spending by international visitors than ever before," said Juliette Tennert, director of economic and public policy research at the Gardner Policy Institute. "Utah's top international leisure markets are Canada, China and France. Chinese visitors spent an estimated 40 percent more in 2015 than in the previous year."' Utah's "Mighty 5®" national parks experienced record visitation in both 2015 (8.4 million visits) and 2016 (10.1 million visits). According to the National Park Service, non-local visitation to Utah's national parks and places generate over $800 million in spending and support over 14,000 Utah jobs. The full report is available here and includes the most recent travel and tourism-related data that were available at the time of publication; in most cases, data reflect 2015 activity. About the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute The Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute at the University of Utah enhances Utah's economy by placing data-driven research into the hands of decision makers. Housed within the David Eccles School of Business, its mission is to develop and share economic, demographic and public policy data and research that help community leaders make informed decisions. Located at the newly restored Thomas S. Monson Center on South Temple Street, the Gardner Policy Institute serves as a vital gathering place and center for independent economic, demographic and public policy thought leadership. Learn more at gardner.utah.edu or by calling 801-587-3717. About the David Eccles School of Business Founded in 1917 and educating more than 4,500 students annually, the David Eccles School of Business offers eight undergraduate majors, four MBAs, five other graduate programs, a Ph.D. program and executive education curricula. The Eccles School is also home to eight institutes and centers, including the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute, which deliver academic research and support an ecosystem of entrepreneurship and innovation. It is consistently one of the top schools in the nation for startup businesses based on university research. Experiential learning is central to the Eccles experience. For more information, visit Eccles.Utah.edu or call 801-581-7676. To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/summer-travel-season-begins-with-record-setting-economic-impacts-in-travel-and-tourism-industry-300455052.html
News Article | May 16, 2017
SAN DIEGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Maritime Museum of San Diego, home to one of the world’s finest collections of historic vessels, has completed the re-decking of the world’s oldest active sailing vessel – the Star of India. The iron hull of the Star of India has virtually remained unchanged since she was launched as Euterpe in 1863. Wooden decks, however, have a shorter lifespan. The deck planks on the Star have been replaced several times during her career as a merchant vessel, immigrant ship, lumber carrier, and now a living museum. Dr. Ray Ashley, President/CEO of the Maritime Museum of San Diego, explained, “We are extremely proud. Over the last three years, in consultation with naval architects and experts in the preservation of historic vessels, the Maritime Museum of San Diego has undertaken a major project to replace all the weather decks on the Star to ensure that she will be preserved for future generations. The process began on the forecastle, and then proceeded to the poop deck. Finally, the starboard and port sides of the waist were replaced. The work proceeded in stages to ensure that the vessel would remain open to the public, and education programs could continue with minimum interruption.” Kevin Sheehan, Ph.D., Manager of Collections, Librarian and Mains' l Haul Editor, added, “Haul Curators and shipwrights at the Maritime Museum of San Diego employed a new and revolutionary procedure for this re-decking process requiring the execution of a series of carefully planned steps. Firstly, staff and volunteers removed the old timber. They then cleaned and painted the exposed iron beams beneath. “Next, they laid down a sub-deck of high quality plywood. This was treated with resin and then covered with wooden planking. The planks were attached to the sub-deck using a specialized method that ensures that no moisture will be able to penetrate the plywood base. The planked deck was then sanded smooth. The seams between the planks were filled to simulate the appearance of a fully caulked deck. Several coats of clear polyurethane epoxy were applied to protect the timbers from the effects of sunlight and water. The final coat was mixed with sand to provide a non-skid surface. Finally, the deck hardware was reinstalled. Today when visitors view these gleaming decks, they must look much as they did on the day of her launching in 1863.” The project has been financed (in part) with Federal funds from the National Maritime Heritage Program administered by the National Park Service, U.S. Department of Interior. However, the contents and opinions contained herein do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the Department of the Interior, nor does the mention of trade names or commercial products constitute endorsement or recommendation by the Department of the Interior. Maritime Museum of San Diego is open to the public every day of the year. General admission includes access to all historic vessel exhibits including the Star of India, USS Dolphin and Foxtrot Naval Russian submarines, the galleon replica San Salvador, tall ship Californian, and a host of others. About the Maritime Museum of San Diego The Maritime Museum of San Diego enjoys a worldwide reputation for excellence in restoring, maintaining and operating historic vessels. The museum has one of the world’s finest collections of historic ships, including the world’s oldest active sailing ship, the Star of India. Maritime Museum of San Diego is a 501c3 non-profit organization. The museum is located at Star of India Wharf in downtown San Diego at 1492 North Harbor Drive, San Diego, CA 92101. The telephone number for general inquires is 619-234-9153. Additional information can be found at www.sdmaritime.org.
News Article | May 19, 2017
This story was originally published by Mother Jones and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration. When protesters descended on Washington, D.C., last month for the March for Science, they carried signs that were straight to the point: “What do we want? Evidence-based science. When do we want it? After Peer Review.” And unlike the administration they were protesting, organizers were careful to apply scientific rigor to how they calculated the number of people who participated in the march. As a result, it took organizers an unusually long time — three weeks — to come up with their estimate for how many people took part in the April 22 marches in Washington and 600 other cities worldwide. In a blog post published Monday, organizers approximated that nearly 1.1 million people had protested around the world, with the largest marches taking place in D.C. (100,000), San Francisco (50,000), Los Angeles (50,000), Chicago (60,000), and Boston (70,000). Their patience was a marked contrast to how President Donald Trump handled his inauguration. Trump spent his first weekend as president insisting that far more people attended his swearing-in than were actually there and attacking anyone who disagreed. Trump told the CIA that Saturday that he drew “a million-and-a-half people.” In his first address to reporters as White House press secretary, Sean Spicer angrily claimed, “That was the largest audience to witness an inauguration, period.” Photographs proved these assertions to be untrue, but the White House didn’t budge. Trump aide Kellyanne Conway even coined the term “alternative facts” — a phrase widely derided by the pro-science marchers — when she was defending the White House’s claim that Trump drew a larger crowd than President Barack Obama had in 2009. March for Science organizers decided to take their time tabulating their crowds after volunteer Kate Gage suggested that they should “science the shit out of the numbers” — which Gage said was meant neither as a reference to Trump’s crowds debate nor to Matt Damon’s character in the movie The Martian. “We really wanted to emphasize that it was a march about science and data and evidence,” explained Gage, a former policy adviser in the White House’s International Science and Technology office during the Obama administration. Scientific rigor was critical, she said, because the march “was organized by scientists, in a way and a scale we haven’t seen before.” Crowd counting is an inexact science, and the volunteers who organized the marches acknowledge the shortcomings of their methodological choices. The D.C. march was particularly challenging, said Kishore Hari, the D.C. march coordinator (and a cohost of Mother Jones’ Inquiring Minds podcast), because the National Park Service doesn’t release crowd estimates and the rainy weather that day prevented the use of satellite imagery. In the end, comparing crowd density to the area’s known capacity, they estimated 100,000 attendees. While the D.C. march count had its limitations, the other marches used a variety of methods. Most marches used hand counts, but for larger, moving groups, hand counts can be prone to error, so organizers had to rely on other methods. Rufus Cochran, an engineer and cochair of the Indianapolis march, spent a few nights reading about different methodologies. Here’s the approach they settled on in Indianapolis, as described in a blog post on the March for Science’s website: At the beginning of their event, pictures of the square were taken with reference landmarks visible. Using this and other pictures, the organizers estimated a fairly consistent density across the square. The organizers then drew an outline of the area using MapChecking.com and combined that with state crowd density still data from Professor Keith Still, a crowd estimation scientist. They settled on a likely density of two and three people per square meter resulting in an attendance calculation of just under 10,000. Given that more people arrived after this picture was taken and there were people at the periphery beyond the borders of area, this estimate is likely conservative. “Researching and building on existing technologies is very important,” Cochran told me. “A lot of the methodology is people making best-educated guesses.” He said his aim was to use “a methodology that is transparent and repeatable.” Keith Still, a crowd size scientist who provided estimates for the Inauguration and Women’s March, says that the methods used by the March for Science organizers were acceptable. “Crowd counting has been around for a long time, we don’t use a static process as it is fraught with inaccuracies,” he said in an email, noting that some methods for determining density are crude and highly variable. “Without images, it would be difficult to assess the accuracy of the crowd count in the March for Science, but the information on the blog is reasonable. By that I mean, the figures are typical of this sort of event (and not over inflated).”
News Article | May 22, 2017
Young, inexperienced whales could get stuck in certain marine environments too. A 30-foot-long humpback whale got stuck in the Ventura Harbor in California but eventually managed to make its way out last Sunday morning, May 21. U.S. Coast Guard authorities revealed that the juvenile humpback became trapped in the harbor Saturday, May 20, at about 3 p.m. Officials from the Coast Guard as well as the Ventura Harbor Patrol and National Park Service tried to help the mammal out through playing whale sounds near the harbor entrance using underwater speakers, along with banging on the sides of boats. The attempts, however, were unsuccessful, as the trapped whale stayed in harbor as daylight ended and crowds had formed to witness the scene. A Coast Guard official said that the harbor’s boats could be quite confusing for the animal using acoustics to navigate its way. With nighttime and calmer surroundings, the stranded one may have been able to find its way to the ocean. There were no more signs of it on Sunday morning, said harborman George Kabris. No injuries were also spotted on the humpback, the Coast Guard official added. As far as harbormaster John Higgins knew, the young humpback whale was the first to visit Ventura Harbor. “We’ve had California grey whales just peek into the harbor as they’re going up and down the coast,” he told AP, adding none have ever actually gone into the harbor. Last year saw a strangely high number of deaths among humpback whales along the East Coast, where the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) conducted a probe to find an answer on the unusual die-off. The spike in mysterious deaths was evident from the territories of Maine through North Carolina. On the regular, deaths in the region would average at 14, yet last year it peaked at 41 deaths in the area. Of the 41 whales that died in the period, 20 were examined and 10 demonstrated proof of blunt force trauma. While vessel strikes had been recorded in different locations in the area, there wasn’t any substantial spike in ship traffic there. Whales, though, were thought to move closer to shipping routes due to several factors, including following their desired prey. A giant sea creature washed ashore in Indonesia recently, initially thought to be a colossal squid but turning out to be a whale species already dead for a few days before being discovered. In the first quarter of 2017 alone too, the Philippines saw three different strange creatures wash ashore just weeks apart. These were a dead giant oarfish, a baffling blob with long white hair that turned out to be a carcass in late decomposition, and a giant sunfish that measured 5.41 feet long. Around the same time as these sightings in the Philippines, over 400 pilot whales washed ashore at Farewell Spit in New Zealand. Seventy percent of the animals died before volunteers were able to lead them back to the water. © 2017 Tech Times, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.
News Article | May 16, 2017
Each spring, VVMF works with the Department of Defense to make sure The Wall is accurate. Names are added for those service members who have met the Department of Defense criteria for addition to The Wall, having sustained wounds in Vietnam from which they eventually perished. Those service members who in the last year were returned or accounted for have their statuses changed from MIA to KIA. The names of three American service members have been engraved on the black granite walls of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial over the last week. These additions will bring the total number of names on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial to 58,318 men and women who were killed or who remain missing in action. These three service members will join 58,315 others who lost their lives or remain missing in action as a result of combat in Vietnam: Beside each name on The Wall is a symbol designating status. The diamond symbol denotes confirmed death. The cross represents missing in action. When a service member's remains are returned or accounted for, the diamond is superimposed over the cross. In 2016, five service members who previously were missing were accounted for and those service members will be officially welcomed home at the ceremony. These five service members were accounted for in 2016: The Department of Defense sets the criteria for and makes decisions about whose names are eligible for inscription on The Wall. VVMF pays for the name additions and status changes, and works with the National Park Service to ensure long-term preservation and maintenance of The Wall. The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund (VVMF) is the nonprofit organization that founded the Vietnam Veterans Memorial (The Wall) in Washington, D.C. in 1982. VVMF continues to lead the way in paying tribute to our nation's Vietnam veterans and their families. VVMF's mission is to honor and preserve the legacy of service in America and educate all generations about the impact of the Vietnam War and era. VVMF is in the fundraising stages to build the Education Center at The Wall. The Center will be an interactive learning facility on the National Mall where our military heroes' stories and sacrifice will never be forgotten. The Education Center will feature the faces and stories of the more than 58,000 men and women on The Wall and honor America's Legacy of Service, including those serving in our nation's armed forces today. Time Warner is the Lead Gift Benefactor in the campaign to build the Education Center at The Wall. To learn more about VVMF and the Education Center at The Wall, visit www.vvmf.org or call 202-393-0090 To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/memorial-day-ceremony-at-the-wall-to-honor-americas-service-members-who-have-made-the-ultimate-sacrifice-300458652.html
News Article | May 19, 2017
The Interior Department is facing a lawsuit from a Christian geologist who claims he was not allowed to collect rocks from Grand Canyon National Park because of his creationist beliefs. In the suit filed earlier this month, the Australian geologist, Andrew Snelling, says that religious discrimination was behind the National Park Service's (NRS's) decision to deny him a permit to gather samples from four locations in the park. Snelling had hoped to gather the rocks to support the creationist belief that a global flood about 4,300 years ago was responsible for rock layers and fossil deposits around the world. NPS's actions "demonstrate animus towards the religious viewpoints of Dr. Snelling," the complaint alleges, "and violate Dr. Snelling's free exercise rights by imposing inappropriate and unnecessary religious tests to his access to the park." The lawsuit was filed May 9 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona. NPS has yet to respond to the allegations. According to the complaint and his online biography, Snelling obtained a doctoral degree in geology from the University of Sydney in 1982 and began his career by studying the Koongarra uranium deposit in Australia's Northern Territory. He spent time in exploration and mining industries before becoming involved with organizations that espouse creationism, rather than evolution. From 1998 to 2007, Snelling was a geology expert at the Creation Science Foundation and has since worked for Kentucky-based Answers in Genesis, an organization that investigates geology "from a Biblical perspective." He's also been an interpreter on more than 30 river trips in the Grand Canyon, which has been a central area of study for creationist geologists. The complaint describes Snelling as "primarily focused on investigating geological phenomena from the perspective of one who believes in the truth of the Old and the New Testaments." In 2013, Snelling applied for a permit to study the folding of Paleozoic sedimentary structures at four locations within the Grand Canyon. He wanted to collect 60 fist-sized rocks from the sites. After seeking the opinion of several individuals in academia, NPS denied the permit on March 4, 2014. "His description of how to distinguish soft sediment from hard rock structures it not well written, up-to-date, or well referenced," Karl Karlstrom, a geologist at the University of New Mexico who co-authored a 2014 paper on the age of the Grand Canyon, wrote in his review of the proposal for NPS. "My overall conclusion is that Dr. Snelling has no scientific track record and no scientific affiliation since 1982." NPS told Snelling that there were alternative locations outside of the park where he could gather the samples. The then-chief of science and resource management at Grand Canyon, Martha Hahn, also warned Snelling that he would be "banned from research in the national park system" if he were to collect the samples without a permit, according to correspondence attached to the complaint. He tried again in 2016, submitting an amended proposal. Rather than issue a permit, NPS told Snelling he would have to first obtain GPS coordinates and photographs of each of his proposed sites and submit detailed information about how the samples would be extracted. Snelling refused to do so before obtaining the requested permit, according to the complaint. "The park has routinely authorized applications proposing far more aggressive sampling without the demand that the researchers first conduct an independent trip to locate each sampling site with specific GPS data," the complaint says. The lawsuit alleges that the park expressly discriminated against Snelling because of his creationist beliefs and by doing so violated Snelling's constitutional rights and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. It also says that NPS was inconsistent with President Trump's May 4 religious freedom executive order. "This case perfectly illustrates why President Trump had to order executive agencies to affirm religious freedom, because park officials specifically targeted Dr. Snelling's religious faith as the reason to stop his research," said Gary McCaleb, senior counsel at the Alliance Defending Freedom, a Christian nonprofit advocacy and legal group that is representing Snelling in the suit. Snelling's situation has attracted the attention of at least one lawmaker. On Jan. 30, Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) stepped in on behalf of Snelling, requesting via a letter to NPS Congressional Liaison Elaine Hackett that the permit be issued. "I am confident there is a misunderstanding regarding the denial or lack of response to Dr. Snelling's request for issuing the permit," Franks wrote. "Because I have the utmost confidence in the integrity of the National Park Service, I am sure there would be no discrimination based on different viewpoints." Geologists have hotly debated the age of the Grand Canyon. According to Karlstrom's 2014 paper in the journal Nature Geoscience, the Colorado River began to carve out the canyon 5 million to 6 million years ago. The oldest rocks in the Grand Canyon are 1.8 billion years old, according to NPS.
News Article | May 19, 2017
-- – In partnership with the National Park Service and the Dunes Learning Center, the South Shore Line announced today that the free shuttle bus service to Miller beaches will resume Memorial Day weekend.Beginning Saturday, May 27, the Dune Buggy Beach Shuttle will resume service for the second consecutive year from the South Shore Line's Miller station. The Dune Buggy beach shuttle will be free of charge and will provide quick, easy access to Lake Street Beach, Marquette Park and Beach and the Douglas Center and will run a loop hitting each stop every 20-30 minutes, providing quick, easy access to the beach for South Shore Line riders."We are very excited to again be part of offering this free service to our riders," said John Parsons, Vice President of Planning &Marketingat South Shore Line. "Northwest Indiana has some amazing beaches, and this shuttle provides people from Chicago to South Bend a convenient way to enjoy an escape right in their own backyard."The shuttle service will run from 10am-6pm every Saturday and Sunday throughout the summer and on Memorial Day, Independence Day and Labor Day, excluding July 8-9 during the Gary Air Show.For more information and train schedules, discounts and to plan a trip, please visit mysouthshoreline.com or download the SSL app (available for iPhone and Android).The South Shore Line is a commuter rail line operated by the Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District (NICTD) between Millennium Station in downtown Chicago and the South Bend International Airport in South Bend, Indiana.Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore is one of 417 units of the National Park System ranging from Yellowstone to the Statue of Liberty. Located in Northwest Indiana, the park includes 15 miles of Lake Michigan shoreline and 15,000 acres of biodiverse beaches, woods, prairies, and marshes. Up to 2 million visitors come to the Indiana Dunes each year.
News Article | May 22, 2017
WHAT: Join officials from the United States Mint and the National Park Service for the official launch of the America the Beautiful Quarters® Program coin honoring Ozark National Scenic Riverways in Missouri on Monday, June 5, 2017, at 11 a.m. CT. Ceremony highlights include musical entertainment by The Baker Family, an award winning bluegrass band from South Central Missouri. United States Mint Artistic Infusion Program artist Ron Sanders, designer of the Ozark National Scenic Riverways quarter, will also attend. A coin exchange of $10 rolls of newly-minted Ozark National Scenic Riverways quarters after the ceremony. Note: The park recently experienced historic flooding, and is undergoing recovery efforts. The ceremony will still take place on the grounds near the mill. The mill may be open for visitors by then. COIN FORUM The United States Mint will host a coin forum the evening before the launch ceremony—Sunday, June 4, 2017, 6-7 p.m. CT—at the Echo Bluff State Park, Nixon Room, 34489 Echo Bluff Drive, Eminence, MO 65466. The coin forum is an opportunity for the public to learn about upcoming United States Mint coin programs and initiatives, and express their views about future coinage. The Ozark National Scenic Riverways quarter is the 38th release in the United States Mint America the Beautiful Quarters Program, a 12-year initiative that honors 56 national parks and other national sites authorized by Public Law 110-456. Each year, the public will see five new national sites depicted on the reverses (tails sides) of the America the Beautiful Quarters. The United States Mint is issuing these quarters in the order in which the national sites were officially established.
News Article | May 17, 2017
Oscar nominee and Emmy and Tony-Award winner Laurence Fishburne (BLACK-ISH) and Tony Award-winner Joe Mantegna (CRIMINAL MINDS) co-host the NATIONAL MEMORIAL DAY CONCERT. The all-star line-up also includes: distinguished American leader General Colin L. Powell USA (Ret.); Emmy Award-winner Gary Sinise (CRIMINAL MINDS: WITHOUT BORDERS); world-renowned four-time Grammy Award-winning classical superstar Renée Fleming; multi-platinum recording artist and star of television, film and the Broadway stage Vanessa Williams; country music superstar Scotty McCreery; Grammy nominated, multi-platinum selling artist John Ondrasik of Five for Fighting; acclaimed actor John Ortiz (A DOG'S PURPOSE; KONG: SKULL ISLAND); Broadway and television star Christopher Jackson (HAMILTON, BULL); distinguished actress Ana Ortiz (UGLY BETTY, DEVIOUS MAIDS); legendary Irish Tenor Ronan Tynan; and the UK's best-selling cross-over artist Russell Watson; in performance with the National Symphony Orchestra under the direction of top pops conductor Jack Everly. The gifted actress and singer Auli'i Cravalho (MOANA) will open the show with a special performance of the "National Anthem." The program is a co-production of Michael Colbert of Capital Concerts and WETA, Washington, D.C. Executive producer Michael Colbert has assembled an award-winning production team that features the top Hollywood talent behind some of television's most prestigious entertainment awards shows including the GRAMMY AWARDS, COUNTRY MUSIC AWARDS, TONY AWARDS, SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE, and more. Capital Concerts is the production force behind two of television's longest-running and highest-rated live programs commemorating America's most important holidays. THE NATIONAL MEMORIAL DAY CONCERT, the nation's tribute to our men and women in uniform, and A CAPITOL FOURTH, our country's biggest birthday party, have become American traditions that have consistently ranked among the highest rated programs on PBS over the past decade. The holiday specials have been honored with over 80 awards including the New York Film Festival Award, the Telly Award, the Golden Cine Award, the National Education Association Award, the Christopher Award and the Writer's Guild of America Award. The NATIONAL MEMORIAL DAY CONCERT is made possible by grants from the Lockheed Martin Corporation, the National Park Service, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the Department of the Army, General Dynamics, PBS and public television stations nationwide. Air travel is provided by American Airlines. For images and additional information, visit PBS Pressroom at www.pbs.org/pressroom To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/robert-patrick-and-mary-mccormack-join-the-cast-of-pbs-national-memorial-day-concert-an-american-tradition-honoring-our-heroes-past-and-present-300458853.html