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Ms Sparky – wrapping up 2009

Posted January 3, 2010 By Ms Sparky

Before I give you all the “Mosts for 2009″ I want to share some 2009 “MsSparky.com” stats with you . I realize these stats would be considered a failure for blogs such as the Huffington Post, but MsSparky.com has come a long way since  I started keeping stats in June 2008 and I am very proud of that. It is “MsSparky.com” readers, commentors and guest writers (THANK YOU Forseti) who have contributed to these stats which ultimately results in getting the word out about KBR and contractor fraud in Iraq, Afghanistan and Kuwait!

My goal for 2010 is to have numbers at least 5 times greater than 2009!

Month/Year Unique Visitors Total # of Visits Total # of Pages Viewed Hits
June 2008 171 520 3,538 7,133
January 2009 4,728 9,155 29,391 144,978
December 2009 23,014 48,392 558,638 1,691,847
Total for 2009 112,963 245,021 1,295,953 4,722,183

Technorati.com is a blog tracking and rating site. I tried to find the official number of blogs they tracked in 2009 and didn’t find it. But in 2008 it was over 113 million just English speaking blogs. I am expecting 2009 to be in the 100’s of millions of English speaking blogs. My Technorati Authority (rating) is 135. That puts MsSparky.com in the top 20,000 blogs that Technorati tracks. Yes….the Huffington Post is #1. Read the remainder of this entry »

Nearly four months later, Janine Hermanson still searches for answers regarding the circumstances surrounding the death of her husband Adam Hermanson who was electrocuted and died in his shower. This happened at Triple Canopy’s Camp Olympia in the Green Zone in Baghdad, Iraq on September 1, 2009.

(For some reason I am having problems with this video viewing properly in FireFox. Internet Explorer seems to be viewing it OK. If you are just seeing a big black box click HERE to go the NBC site to watch the video there. I will get it fixed ASAP….I hope.) Read the remainder of this entry »

Widow Raising New Questions About Electrocutions in Iraq

Husband Died While Showering in Baghdad
Carol Han – November 25, 2009

Adam's widow Janine Hermanson

Adam's widow Janine Hermanson

WASHINGTON — It appears as if 18 deaths, a congressional probe and new military marching orders were not enough to end a rash of electrocutions in Iraq.

Now, a Pennsylvania woman is demanding accountability after her husband, an Air Force veteran and military contractor, died in a Baghdad shower Sept. 1. Adam Hermanson’s death comes less than two years after a Pittsburgh soldier, Staff Sgt. Ryan Maseth, was electrocuted while taking a shower in Iraq.

Janine Hermanson, of Muncy, Pa., says that for the past two months, she has been getting the runaround from military investigators and Triple Canopy, the Defense Department contractor that hired her husband.

SLIDESHOW: Widow Raising New Questions About Electrocutions in Iraq

KIROTV Video-In depth exclusive

KIROTV Video-Janine Hermanson “How I cope”

KIROTV Video-Janine Hermanson “No one will give me answers”

Senator Casey-Closing the contractor loophole

“It’s so frustrating,” Janine Hermanson said. “All I want to know is what happened to him and why it happened to him but no one can tell me. No one seems to care to tell me.”

Janine Hermanson’s search for answers started not long after she received a phone call from the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad. Hermanson says the woman on the phone told her there was no foul play involved.

It’s the same point repeated in a letter she received from the U.S Embassy in Iraq dated Sept. 1. In it, Jennifer Tierney, chief of American Citizen Services, writes: “There is no indication of any foul play or unusual circumstances.”

Read the entire letter HERE.

“I didn’t understand,” Janine Hermanson said. “He didn’t have any medical problems. No health problems.” Read the remainder of this entry »

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TENG to perform electrical inspections in Afghanistan

Posted November 24, 2009 By Ms Sparky

Apparently TENG Associates has been award a US Army Corp of Engineers (USACE) contract to perform independent electrical inspections in Afghanistan. TENG will be supplying electrical inspectors to inspect for Task Force POWER.

Below is an excerpt from the Department of Defense Inspector General Report dated July 24, 2009.

On June 29, 2009, CENTCOM stated that Task Force POWER continues their comprehensive inspection of existing facilities. The initial inspection team includes an organization of 116 personnel (including eight engineers, three master electricians, 72 subject matter experts/electrical inspectors, and 33 support personnel). After the initial inspection is complete, these personnel will transform into the continued inspection staff of 42 personnel. Once initial inspections are completed and results analyzed, requirements for funding, materials, and manpower will be requested.

This meter is reading 231 VAC from the water supply line of a small bathroom water heater to ground. That will clearly kill you in the shower!

This meter is reading 231 VAC from the water supply line of a small bathroom water heater to ground. That will clearly kill you in the shower! This is a 240/400 VAC system in Iraq

If I recall correctly KBR started performing inspections for Task Force POWER earlier this year. If that’s not a classic example of the “fox watchin’ the hen house” I don’t know what is!

TENG and Task Force POWER will be the Afghanistan counterpart to Stanley Baker Hill (SBH) and Task Force SAFE in Iraq. TENG is expected to start deploying inspectors to Afghanistan in January 2010.

I have known about this for a couple of weeks and have asked TENG for a statement but as of today, they haven’t responded.

As of yet I’m not sure who will be the driving force for Task Force POWER.  I don’t know if the Defense Contract Management Agency (DCMA) and USACE will have a structure similar to what they have in Iraq.

I do hope TENG will learn from the management mistakes made by SBH  in Iraq and improve on them.

I have started “Task Force POWER” and “TENG & Assoc” categories. I will keep you posted as I learn more. If you have any information on Task Force POWER or TENG & Associates in Afghanistan let me know.

Ms Sparky

Mother of Shaler soldier electrocuted in Iraq praises Pa. company’s new device

By Robin Acton
Monday, November 23, 2009

Task Force Safe copyA Pennsylvania company today will debut a product designed to prevent accidental electrocutions among military personnel living in mobile units while serving abroad.

Fidelity Technologies Corporation will present the electrical circuit protector system to Department of Defense officials during a ceremony and tour at the company’s manufacturing plant in Reading.

Fourteen electrocutions have occurred since 2003, including one involving a Green Beret from Pennsylvania, said Democratic Rep. Tim Holden of Schuylkill County.

“As a result, the Army engaged in conversations to take advantage of the expertise here at Fidelity to do something about it. I’d like to commend the Pentagon for taking action,” he said.

Holden will attend the ceremony at Fidelity’s manufacturing plant, located in his 17th Congressional District.

The problem of electrocutions among military personnel serving in Iraq gained national media attention with the death of Staff Sgt. Ryan Maseth, 24, of Shaler. Maseth died Jan. 2, 2008, when an improperly grounded rooftop pump installed by defense contractor KBR sent an electrical current along water flowing through metal pipes into his shower in the Radwaniyah Palace Complex near Baghdad. Read the remainder of this entry »