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Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser was on the floor of the Walter E. Washington Convention Center June 5, helping to cut the ribbon and officially open Brand USA’s booth. Shown here (left to right): Thomas Garzilli, Chief Marketing Officer, Brand USA; Anne Madison, Chief Strategy & Communications Officer, Brand USA; Elliott Ferguson, President & CEO, Destination DC; Roger Dow, President & CEO, U.S. Travel; Chris Thompson, President & CEO, Brand USA; Bowser; Jack Potter, President & CEO, Metropolitan Washington Airport Authority (MWAA); and Jerome Davis, Executive Vice President, Chief Revenue Officer, MWAA.

Judge Tosses Gehrisch Slander Portion of His
DMAI Lawsuit

By Todd McElwee

DMAI has claimed a significant victory in its legal battle with former President & CEO Michael Gehrisch.
Citing logistical and time constraints, Washington, D.C. Superior Court Judge Neal Kravitz on June 1 ruled against Gehrisch’s motion to add 27 past and current members of the DMAI Board of Directors as party defendants and include claims of slander and intentional interference of contractual rights.

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Bathroom Bill Costs Houston
2019 PCMA Convening Leaders

By Todd McElwee

Houston will not host PCMA’s Convening Leaders in 2019.
Though the site had never been formally announced, the stalled resolution of Texas’s bathroom bill forced association leaders to look elsewhere to stage the Jan. 2019 event.
When asked if announcement will be made next week at Educon in New York, Deborah Sexton, President & CEO, PCMA told USAE: “No we will not be announcing 2019 at Educon. We were considering a number of destinations. At this point we will be rethinking 2019.” Sexton said an announcement would be made within 30 days.

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Transgender Bathroom Issue Scheduled for Texas Special Session

By Jonathan Trager

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has called for a special session of the legislature that’s expected to address the hot-button issue of whether to restrict transgender use of public and school bathrooms.
Abbott announced the session on June 6 after legislators failed to pass a compromise bill on the issue by the end of the regular session in May. It will begin on July 18 and under state law can last up to 30 days.

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Funding for San Diego Convention Center Expansion Special Election in Peril

By Grant Broadhurst

The expansion of the San Diego Convention Center has hit a snag. However the mayor plans to rectify it.
The San Diego City Council voted 8 to 1 on June 5 to approve a budget that will eliminate the $5 million needed to hold a special election in November on the convention center expansion and SoccerCity. San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer has declared he will veto the action.

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Big Brother Bee… Bees play a vital role in pollinating many of the plants that culinary enthusiasts depend on to survive, but tracking bees isn’t easy and costs a lot of money. However, a team led by the University of Missouri has developed a way to monitor busy bees: hidden microphones. Probably inspired by the Cold War spy game, the researchers hid tiny microphones in a field to listen to the buzzing of the bees. Using only the sound, they were able to more accurately quantify bee activity than by using visual estimates. Though it’s a little terrifying to think that a nice bucolic wheat field could be bugged with miniature microphones, the method is relatively inexpensive and could help farmers keep delicious food on HOTS’ table. The researchers published their findings in the journal PLOS ONE with the bee-autiful title, “Flight of the bumble bee: Buzzes predict pollination services,” but HOTS thinks it should have been called, “Violating the privacy rights of bees: Bugged bees predict pollination services.”


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